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Wife GXabe; 


Great Officer of the Legion of Honour, Counsellor of State, and Member of the 
Royal Council of Public Instruction, One of the Forty of the French Academy, 
Perpetual Secretary to the Academy of Sciences, Member of the Aca- 
demies and Royal Societies of London, Berlin, Petershurgh, 
Stockholm, Edinburgh, Copenhagen, Gottingen, Turin, 
Bavaria, Modena, The Netherlands, Calcutta, and of 
the Linnsean Society of London, &c. &c. &c. &c. 


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of elephants. The Black Mountain contains quantities of them along 
its declivities. 

M. Dodun, a veteran engineer of the department of Taru, has dis- 
covered in the neighbourhood of Gastelnaudary, several jaws of ele- 
phants strongly characterised, the drawings of which he has shewn 
me. He mentions them in the Journal de Physique, vol. lxi, p. 

A mutilated thigh and some rows of jaws were found at Gaillac, in 
Albigeois, in 1749. They were in a bed of dry gravel mixed with sand, 
eleven feet from the surface of the soil *. 

I have myself placed in the museum a jaw from the neighbourhood 
of Thoulouse, for which w r e are indebted to M. Tournon, a physician 
and clever naturalist of that town. 

M. Marcassus de Pirymaurin, member of the Academy of Toulouse, 
and father of our present deputy, sent to the Museum several frag- 
ments of tusks, which he found on the back of a little hill, a quarter 
of a league from the castle of Alan, the residence of the Bishops of 
Comminges f. 

M. Mosneron, a deputy of the old legislative body, presented me 
with the upper part of a thigh found at the foot of the Pyrenees, which 
I have placed in the King's Museum. It is very large, and belonged 
to an animal of about sixteen feet in height. 

Advancing towards the north, we do not find any diminution in the 
quantity of the fossil bones of elephants. There is a portion of a 
shoulder plate in the museum, exhumed three leagues below Chalons 
sur Saone, in the direction of Tournons. It was brought to the Aca- 
demy of Sciences in 1743, by Geoffroy J. 

The workmen who are employed in opening the Canal du Centre, 
have recently discovered a heap of them in the same province. Owing 
to the activity of the late M. Gerardin, who was employed by the 
Museum, a jaw, easily distinguishable, though broken, has come to my 
hands. Beside it was the jaw of a rhinoceros. The place where the 
discovery was made is called Chagny. 

The late M. Tonnelier, keeper of the Museum of the Board of 
Mines, preserved the plate of a jaw which was found in an embank- 
ment at a place called Pont de Pierre, a league from Auxerre. 

My late colleague, M. Tenon, member of the Academy of Sciences, 
saw another tooth from the neighbourhood of the last- mentioned 

In July, 1773, M. Pazumot found a petrified molar tooth in l'Yonne. 

Some years since, as they were blasting a rock for the purpose of 
enlarging a garden at Fovent, a village near Gray, in the department 
of the Haute Saone, they found in a cavity a great quantity of bones, 
consisting of jaws and portions of the tusks of elephents, with the bones 
of the rhinoceros, horses, and a peculiar species of hyena, which I de- 
scribe elsewhere. 

M. Le Fevre de Morey succeeded in procuring these bones for the 

* History of the Academy of Thoulouse, vol. i, p. 62. 

'Y Daubenton's King's Museum of Natural History, vol. xi, No. dcdxcix. 
X Ibid., No. mxxxii ; and Mairan, Hist. Acad, of §c, 1743, p. 49. 
vol. i. a a 


King's Museum, where they are at present deposited. They likewise 
discovered a large quantity of them at Porentruy, in the ancient bishop- 
rick of Bale, while cutting a road in 1779. I have placed a molar tooth 
of this collection, given to me by M. Scarfenstein, a grazier of Mont- 
beliard, in the King's Museum ; it is remarkable for the breadth of its 

As we advance towards Paris, we find them at Orleans. In the 
King's Museum there is a portion of the lower part of a thigh, a 
portion of calcaneum, and a portion of the dorsal vertebra, contributed 
by M. Chouteau. 

The same collector has just sent from Avaray near Beaugency, some 
very fine fragments of ivory. 

The vicinity of Paris furnishes its share as well as the other pro- 
vinces. In the King's Museum there is a jaw and the fragment of 
a tusk found in the embankment of the Seine, near Argenteuil. 

The Marquis de Cubieres, member of the Academy of Sciences, has 
in his possession a jaw found near Meudon, at a considerable depth in 
the sand. 

Even within the circuit of Paris, and close to the Salpetriere, they 
discovered some in 1 8 1 1 , ten feet below the surface, and like the others, 
in a bed of sand. 

While cutting the canal for conducting the waters of the Ourcq to 
the capital, they dug up two of the largest jaws and tusks I have ever 
seen, in three different parts of the forest of Bondy. Mr. Girard, the 
celebrated engineer and director-in-chief of this canal, has been kind 
enough to transmit them to me, with a view to their being placed in 
the Museum. They have since found in the same place the upper ex- 
tremity of a shoulder indicating an elephant from fifteen to sixteen 
feet high : a tusk more than four feet long, and several other 

As I have carefully examined the place where they were found, in 
company with M. Girard and M. Alexander Brongniart, the learned 
mineralogist, I think it may not be unseasonable to give a short de- 
scription of it here. 

The canal is cut through the plain of Pantin and Bondy, which rises 
from seventy to eighty feet above the level of the Seine, comprehend- 
ing the bases of the gypseous hills of Montmartre and Belleville. This 
plain has been pierced to the depth of forty feet, and has been found 
to be composed of different layers of sand, marl, and clay. Calcareous 
stone was no where to be met with ; although it is found at the level 
of the river at St. Ouen. In some places the canal traverses strata of 
gypsum, which extend in a parallel direction with the base of the hill 
of Belleville. We shall hereafter have occasion to remark, that it ap- 
pears that clay and sand have gradually filled the intervals of the gyp- 
seous hills. The most elevated part of the plain, that which divides the 
waters falling into the Seine and those falling into the Marne, is near 
Sevrans in the forest of St. Denis. Nevertheless, it has not been 
found necessary to dig lower than from thirty to forty feet, a circum- 
stance which proves how inconsiderable this elevation is, compared 
with the rest of the plain. The ground in that quarter consists in a 
great measure of a yellow marl, alternating with beds of green clay, 


containing here and there patches of hardened marl, and in other spots, 
of silex menelites, partly filled with alluvial shells. 

In certain spots the beds of clay and marl suddenly sink down- 
wards, as if they had formed basins, or a species of reservoirs, which 
have been subsequently filled by foreign matter. In fact, there are at 
these spots heaps of blackish mould, the superficies of which corre- 
sponds with the curves of the masses of clay that sink downwards, and 
which are surmounted at the top by a yellow sand. 

It was in the black clay, eighteen feet below the surface, that they 
found the teeth and the tusks of elephants. There was also a skull, 
more or less complete, which was broken by the workmen, the frag- 
ments of which I have got, as well as several bones belonging to the 
genus oxen, and other ruminants of minor proportions ; and, what was 
peculiarly remarkable, an easily distinguishable skull of that large 
species of stag so celebrated among geologists, under the improper 
title of the Irish fossil elk. 

The yellow sand surmounting the surface, contains many common 
fresh- water shells, some linnnea, and some planorbia ; but the black 
mould does not contain any, nor the green clay or yellow marl, in 
which it is encased. The ivory is very much decomposed : the jaws 
are less so, and the other bones scarcely at all. The greater part do 
not appear to have been injured. 

Two portions of jaws from Gierard in Brie, a league fromCrecy, 
are mentioned by Daubenton. They were in a sand pit, ten feet below 
the surface *. 

M. de Villarce, member of the Agricultural Society of Province, has 
sent two of a similar description from Champagne, to the King's 

The late M. Petit Radel, professor of medicine at Paris, had in his 
museum a large jaw exhumed at Villebertin, near Troyes, in a gravel 
bank. Neither is Lorraine deficient in those remains. 

The Baron de Serviere gives a drawing of an upper jaw, strongly 
characterised t. found beneath the bed of the Moselle, near Pont-a- 

A germ consisting of nine plates, had been sent to the Museum by 
M. de Champel J. 

Buchoz in his first series of illuminated and non-illuminated plates, 
gives the drawing of the fifth tooth of an elephant, which was found pe- 
trified in the neighbourhood of Dieulouard, between Pont-a-Mousson 
and Nancy, and a molar tooth found in the neighbourhood of Pont-a- 
Mousson, more than ten inches long. 

M. Berger, president of a.learned society of Treves, sent me, in 1810, 
the drawing of a thigh four feet long, exhumed in what then formed 
the department of the Sarre. 

There are quantities of these bones to be found in Picardy. In 
1813, they exhumed at Amiens, in a place called the Faubourg de 

* Daubentou's Nat. Hist., vol. xi, No. mxxviii, and the Mus. of the Acad, of 
Sc, 1762. 

T Physical Journal, vol. xiy^«pr 3 7F25,, ~ ' '***- «, T 
X Nat. Hist., vol. xi, Jtf<5fM*xxT..l J 

243 <>.\ mi; po.ssil r.u.N) ta of PA.enimi£HM-ATOv& QiiADRtrPEna, 

Beauvais, an entire tusk, and in 1815, a small jaw. JM. Traulle, 
a correspondent of the Institute, who is indefatigable in his re- 
searches, had the kindness to make me acquainted with both of these 
discoveries. These pieces were under blocks of fragments of silex, 
which, in this district, cover a bed of sand mixed with particles of 
chalk. Since that period, some others have been discovered in the 
same place, upon which M. Rigollot, professor of medicine, read a 
paper to the Academy of Amiens, in 1819. 

M. Traulle is also in possession of a numerous collection of the 
bones of the elephant and rhinoceros found together at Abbeville in 
the Faubourg of Menche Court; he has sent us some rather large 
portions of the tibia of a very young elephant. 

M. Baillon has sent us from the same place an upper epiphyse 
of the tibia. 

On the 20th of September, 1809, M. Duroche, engineer of roads 
and bridges, sent to the King's Museum some portions of jaw bones 
which formed part of a heap found twenty feet deep at Viry, on the 
borders of the valley ofl'Oise, and, as at Amiens, in a flinty gravel, 
and on a bed of sand. 

The fossil elephants of Belgium have long been known to the 
learned world. The erudite physician, Van Gorp, alias Goropius 
Becanus *, as early as the sixteenth century, combated the prejudice of 
attributing to giants, bones and teeth of this description, found in the 
neighbourhood of Antwerp. At the same time, he mentions the bones 
of two elephants exhumed near Vilvorde, in a canal which the inha- 
bitants of Brussels were opening between that city and Rupelmonde, 
to avoid some vexatious interference on the part of the inhabitants of 
Malines. Like others of his time, he attributes them to the expeditions 
of the Romans, and especially to those of the emperors Gallienus 
and Posthumius. 

Jean Laurentzen, in his edition of the Museum of the King of Den- 
mark, by Jacobseus, part 1, sect. 1, No. 73, relates the story of a skele- 
ton which Otho Sperling saw exhumed at Bruges, in 1643, a thigh of 
which was preserved in that Museum. It was an elephant's thigh, 
four feet long, and weighing twenty-four pounds. M. de Burtin, in 
the first and second chapter of his Dissertation on the " Revolutions 
of the Surface of the Globe," which gained the prize at Haar- 
lem in 1787, says that he is in possession of an elejmant's tooth, 
discovered in Brabant. He adds (p. 180), that a very large fossil head 
of that species was drawn from a river, two leagues from Louvain, by 
some fishermen. 

M. Delimbourg also alludes to those bones in a memoir inserted 
among those of the Academy of Brusselsf. 

Besides those of Lorraine already mentioned, there are others farther 
down on the Meuse. M.Valenciennes has procured, for the King's 
Museum, some fragments of tusks found in the upper beds of the 
mountain of St. Pierre, near Maestricht, so celebrated for the bones of 
reptiles, which it contains at a greater depth in its interior. 

* Origin of Antwerp, book ii, page ]0 7, and the Oigantomachia. 
f Vol. i, p. 4 10. 


The great valley of the Rhine is surcharged with these bones. The 
neighbourhood of Strasbourg has yielded them in 

Bascler speaks of a tusk found in the Rhine, near Nonnenweycr. A 
fragment from the same place, three feet two inches long, is still 
preserved by M. Spielmann, an apothecary of Strasbourg, and a molar 
tooth, of Wittenweyer, which adjoins it, is preserved by Mr. Peterson, 
an inhabitant of the same town *. 

Jean Herrmann, in a peculiar programme of December 15, 1785, 
shews that the supposed bull's horn, which had hung for a series of 
years on the walls of the cathedral of Strasbourg, and which Buffon 
mentions as such t, is in reality an elephant's tusk, which, in all pro- 
bability, had anciently been found in the same river. 

The neighbourhood of Bale has yielded them in similar proportions. 
M. Adrien Camper saw a quantity of them in 1788 in the Museums 
of that town, and amongst others, in that of M. Bernouilli+. Knorr 
had previously given a drawing of a jaw and a bone of the metacarpus 
kept in the Museum of M. d'Annone, professor at Bale§. 

The Chronicle of Colmar, of the year 1267, speaks of the bones of 
giants found near Bale, at the village of Hertin ||. 

There are also several molar teeth in the public library of Bale. 
Two of them have been engraved as the teeth of giants %. Davila 
procured a fragment of ivory from the same place**. 

They have been found at Mutterz, a league from Bale, and at 
Rheinfelden ff. 

Many of the valleys of Switzerland, stretching along towards the 
valley of the Rhine, produce them in no inconsiderable quantities.- 

The history of the giant exhumed near Lucerne in 1577, vies in 
celebrity with that of the pretended Teutobochus. These bones were 
found beneath an oak uprooted by the wind near the Monastery of Rey- 
den. Felix Plater, the celebrated professor of medicine at Bale, happen- 
ing to visit Lucerne in 1584, seven years after the discovery, examined 
these bones, and declared that they must have belonged to a man of 
enormous stature. The Council of Lucerne having sent them to him 
to Bale, he superintended the engraving of a human skeleton equal 
in size to what he supposed to be that of the subject to which the 
bones had belonged — viz. nineteen feet — and sent back this engraving, 
with the bones, to Lucerne. The drawing is still preserved in the 
ancient College of the Jesuits. There is an inscription on it, import- 
ing that these bones consisted of portions of the thigh, tibia, shoulder- 
plate, clavicle, vertebrae, sacrum, coccyx, and ribs, as well as frag- 
ments of the skull, and an almost perfect os malse, a calcaneum, and a 

* Hammer's Letters. 

f- Supplement to Nat. History, vol. v, p. 543. 

J Anatomical Description of an Elephant, p. 28. 

§ Knorr's Monuments, vol. ii, sect. 2. tab. H, and h iii. 

|| Dom Calmet, Dictionary of the Bible, vol. ii, p. 160. 

^f M. Hammer is in possession of these engravings. 

** Davila, Cab. iii, p. 229. 

ft On the authority of Hammer's letters. See also Brucker Merckwurdigkeiten 
der Landschaft Basel, No. xv, pi. xv. fig. 1 and 2, and Davila, p. 227. And a Selec- 
tion of Essays on National History, by Bertrand, p. 23. 


second phalanx of the toe. We may remark there were no teeth, a 
circumstance which prevented Plater from recognizing the bones to 
be those of a quadruped. But then, how came there to be a clavicle, 
since the elephant has none ? Most probably it was a radius or a 
first rib. According to Scheuchzer there only remained, in 1706*, 
with the drawing, a portion of the shoulder blade and two bones, 
which he believed to belong to the carpus f. M. Blumenbach, who 
has seen them recently, recognized them at once as being the bones 
of the elephant +. It is from this supposed giant that the inhabitants 
of Lucerne have borrowed the figure that supports the arms of their 

Scheuchzer quotes an ancient manuscript § Chronicle, which states 
that the leg below the knee was five feet long, and was a foot and a 
half in circumference at the upper extremity. 

The same author speaks, on the authority of Wagner ||, of another 
supposed giant, dug out of the soft gravel stone near d'Utikonin the 
canton of Zurich. 

That part of Alsace lying below Strasbourg is not less prolific in 
these fossils than the higher regions. 

A skeleton, almost entire, was exhumed at Vendenheim, a mile to 
the north of Strasbourg, in 1807. It was found on one of the most 
prominent of the Vosgian mountains, forty feet below the surface, 
while they were sinking a well. There is no part of it now remain- 
ing but a tusk, four feet ten inches long, and five inches in diameter, 
and some minor particles of no importance. I give these details from 
the written statements of MM. Herrmann and Hammer. Mention 
is made of them in the Annuaire of the department of the Bas-Rhine, 
for the year 1808; and allusion is there made to a similar discovery 
made some years previous, on another projection of the Vosgian moun- 
tains, at Epfig, eight leagues from Strasbourg, while they were digging 
the foundation of a church. 

In 1807, a jaw and some bones were found at Gertwiller, near 
Barr, seven leagues from Strasbourg, at the foot of the mountains. 
They were three feet below the surface, in a gravel bed which forms 
the bottom of the plain of Alsace. 

M. Hammer is also in possession of a fragment of a tusk found in 
an island of the Rhine, near Seltz, and another from the neighbour- 
hood of Haguenau. The left bank of the Rhine, as far as the Palati- 
nate, and the surrounding country, continues to furnish these fossils. 

There is an entire Dissertation of Charles Gotlob Steding, on the 
fossil ivory of the neighbourhood of Spires^[. He gives a drawing of a 
jaw, of thirteen separate plates : there are two wanting in front, and 
one or two behind. It was found four feet below the surface, and 
weighed three pounds and a half; close by it was the fragment of a 
tusk, weighing four pounds. 

* Felix Plater, Medical Observations, book iii, chap. 586. 

f Scheuchzer's Itinerary of the Alps, vol. v, p. 368. 

X Magazine of Mr. Voigt, for Nat. and Phys. Rist., vol. v, p. 16. 

§ Manuscript Chronicle of Haller, booksli. 

|| Nat. Hist, of Helvetia, p. 152. 

% Nov. Ac. Nat. Cur., vol vi. p. 367. 


The Museum of the Grand Duke of Hesse Darmstadt contains a 
lower jaw of very large dimensions, found near Worms. Merk 
mentions it in his second letter on fossils (p. 9), and gives a drawing 
of it (plate 3). 

In the Museum of Kunast there is a thigh from the same place. 
We have in the King's Museum two lower jaws, belonging to 
animals of different ages, both found in the neighbourhood of Cologne ; 
and a jaw has just been procured which was found in the neighbour- 
hood of Coblentz, which formerly belonged to M. Faujas. 

Germany has been still more prolific in these fossils. The Museum 
Kunastrinum mentions fossil ivory from the country round Baden, 
found on the banks of the Rhine in 1609, ten toises below the sur- 
face of the soil *.. 

In the collection of M. Hammer there is a molar tooth, and the 
fragment of a shoulder-plate, found near Brisach. In his travels, 
written in 173 If, Keissler speaks of an elephant's head being found 
at Manheim, in the Necker, seven feet below the surface : it was 
preserved in the collection of Dr. Ressner at Frankfort. There is 
an engraving of it in the atlas of Homan. According to the in- 
scription, its length was four feet ten inches of the measure- 
ment of the Rhine, (doubtless comprehending the fragment of the 
tusk), audits weight two hundred and one pounds. Merk J also 
mentions it, and tells us that it was transferred to Petersburgh. The 
jaws were two in number, each nine inches long. 

M. Fischer sent me, at the time of its discovery, the drawing of a 
large lower jaw, which was also found at Necker, and which is pre- 
served in the Museum of Darmstadt. 

M. Hammer is in possession of a molar tooth, dug up in an island 
of the Rhine, opposite Manheim, and a fragment extracted from that 
river, near the same town. 

M. Gmelin, an apothecary of Tubingue, was in possession of a 
lower jaw, found in the Rhine near Manheim also§; and in the Museum 
of Runast there was a large bone, which is at present in that of 
the School of Medicine at Strasbourg. 

In February, 1819, some boatmen drew from the Rhine, which was 
then very low, at Sandhofen, near Manheim, the lower jaw of an ele- 
phant, in a high state of preservation, and with it an enormous skull 
of an aurochs. 

M. Tiedemann, the learned professor of Heidelberg, who has 
made me acquainted with this latter circumstance, has likewise in- 
formed me that, on the 21st of July, 1817, a tusk six feet long, rather 
decomposed at either extremity, was discovered on the road to Schwet- 
zingen, half a league from Heidelberg, thirty-six feet below the sur- 
face, in a sand-pit. It has been placed in the Museum of the Uni- 

* Museum Kuuasterianum Strasbourg, 1668, ed. 8vp. p. 60, quarto edition, p. 13. 
I am indebted to Mr. Hammer for this reference. 

f Keissler's Travels, vol. ii, p. 1469. 

X Second Letter, p. 14. 

§ Commercium Noricum, 1745, pl.iii, fig. 10, p. 297, and Keissler, in the passage 
just quoted. 


versity. M. Tiedemann, procured the fragment of a cubitus from the 
same place. 

In the work we have ahead)- quoted, Merk mentions a shoulder- 
blade, a shoulder-bone, two thighs, a tusk, an ischium, and a cubitus, 
exhumed on the banks of the Rhine, from a gravel bed near Erfelden, in 
the district of Darmstadt. There was the skull of a rhinoceros close to it. 

It is probable that the elephant's pelvis, deposited in the Museum 
of Darmstadt, was exhumed in the same quarter, as M.Fischer has 
suggested. According to the account of this naturalist, there are also 
in this Museum some teeth found at Erbach in the Rheingau. 

Francis Beuth had in his keeping five jaws and a tusk found in 
the Rhine, near Dusseldorf *. 

M. Schlothein has a jaw from the vicinity of the same town, in his 
Museum f . 

M. Leidenfrost, professor at Duysburg, had a lower jaw, a shoulder, 
a fragment of a thigh, and two upper jaws, from the banks of the 
Lippe, near Schornbeck, in the duchy of Cleves, a little distance 
from the Rhine, and, as in almost every other instance, accompanied 
by fragments of bones of the rhinoceros J. 

In 1746, mention is made of bones dug up at Lippenheim near 
Wesel§. We find it stated in the Moniteur of April 16", 1809, that 
in a province near Wesel, which had been inundated by the Rhine, 
a jaw neighing three pounds fourteen ounces was found after the 
retreat of the river. 

As the beds of the Rhine and the Meuse yield these fossils in 
such profusion, it is but natural to suppose that the inundations at 
their embouchures cannot be unsupplied with them. Hence we find 
that Holland abounds with them. 

Plempius tells us of a thigh found at Yusseb, near Doesburg. 

Lulof mentions a tooth and several bones, dug up in the valley of 
Yussel near Zutphen||. 

Palicr describes a thigh, forty-one inches long, and a vertebra, left 
bare by an eruption of the Meuse, near Hedel in the Bommelerwaerdt, 
on the 11th of February, 1757. 

Verster gives us some excellent models, wrought by Camper, of a 
large portion of the skull of a young subject, and of a portion of a 
pelvis exhumed near the same place, at Bois-le-Duc ^[, which is men- 
tioned by Camper himself, in his memoir on the skull of a two-horned 
rhinoceros **. 

* Julise et montium subterranea, Dusseldorf, 1776, Svo., p. 77. We have to notice 
an amusing mistake of this writer, on the subject of these teeth. Finding in the 
Protegcea of Leibnitz the drawing of the molar of an elephant exhumed at Tydia, 
he perceived at once, that those he had were similar to it, but imagining that Tydia 
was the name of the animal to which Leibnitz referred the bones, he exhausted 
himself in inquiries and researches to ascertain what sort of an animal this Tydia 
was, of which he could find no mention. 

■f Knowledge of Petrifactions, in German ; Gotha, 1820, p. 5. 

X Merk, third Letter, p. 13. 

§ Ccmmercium Litterarium, Nuhningii et Cdhausenii. 

|| Beschouwing des Aard Klootz in Palier. 

^i Memoirs of the Society of Haarlem, vol. xxiii, pp. 53 — 85, 

** Acta ac retrop. 1777, part ii, p. 203. 


In 1811, I took a drawing of half a pelvis, which I observed in 
the Museum begun by king Louis Buonaparte, under the direction of 
Mr. Reinwardt, in the town hall of Amsterdam. This fragment was 
also thrown up at Bommelerwaerdt, by an eruption of the Meuse. 

The Moniteur, already quoted (16th of April, 1809), speaks of 
another half of a pelvis thrown up by the Whaal, in the inunda- 
tion which filled the dyke of Loenen, in the province of Betuwe, a 
little above Nimeguen. 

M. Brugmans, a professor of Leyden, has given me the drawing of 
a thigh, found in the neighbourhood of that town. 

The more elevated parts of the united provinces yield their share 
of these fossils. 

Picaardt mentions some enormous bones of the district of Drenthe, 
and a tusk nine feet in length, exhumed in July, 1 650, near Coevor- 
den *. Of all European countries, Germany has unquestionably fur- 
nished the greatest quantity of the fossil remains of elephants, not so 
much because it really contains more than other countries, but because 
there is scarce a district of that empire that does not possess some man 
of learning and abilities, well qualified to investigate and to make 
known the discoveries that may prove interesting to science. 

As early as 1784, Merk enumerated eighty places f where bones of 
this description w ere exhumed, and more than one hundred specimens 
of bones, the origin of which had not been ascertained. M. de Zach 
makes the number of places amount to one hundred $-, and M. Blu- 
menbach doubles that quantity §. 

Everybody knows the story of the elephant, discovered at Tonna, in 
the district of Gotha, in 1696, which has been described byTentzelius 
andHoyer ||. 

A second was exhumed in 1799, at a distance of fifty feet from the 
place from where the other had been found ; and the celebrated astro- 
nomer, the Baron de Zach, has given a most circumstantial account of 
the ground, of which we shall avail ourselves in noticing the details 
of the discovery %. A previous account had been published in Voigt's 

There are two places named Tonna (Graeffen-Tonna and Burg- 
tonna), both situated in the recesses of the valley of the Unstrut, below 
Langensalza, and to the right of Salza and the Unstrut. All the gorges 
of this valley, as well as most of the low vallies of Thuringia,are formed 

* Ann. Drenth. in Verster, passage already cited. 

-f Merke, second Letter, p. 8. 

X Monthly Correspondence, January, 1800. 

§ Archeeologia telluris, p. 1 2. 

|| Letter of Tentzelius to Magliabecchium, on the ivory discovered at Tonna, Phil. 
Transact., vol. xix No, 234, pp. 757 — 776; J. G. Hoyer, on Fossil Ivory, or the 
Elephant's Tusk lately discovered in a sandy hill. Ephem. Nat. Cur. See also the 
Transactions of a learned Society of Leipsick, Jan. 1697, and Valentine, Amph., 
p. 26. 

% A notice of the skeleton of an elephant found at Burgtonna, in the corres- 
pondence relative to the progress of geography and astronomy. A German Journal 
of M. de Zach, Jan. 1800, art. ii, p. 21. 

** Magazine of Novelties of Natural History and Physics, by Lichtenberg and 
Voigt, in German, vol. iii. 


of horizontal beds of a soft calcareous white gravel, containing bones, 
stags' horns, the impressions of various leaves, which have been consi- 
dered the productions of the aquatic plants and trees of the country, 
and shells, which have been supposed to belong to the helix stagna- 
lis, and other fresh water species. In many places this white gravel 
becomes dissolved into a marly sand, which has been used, for more 
than a century, for manuring lands. It is partly procured by irregu- 
lar subterraneous excavations ; those in the districts of Burgtonna are 
forty, fifty, and sixty feet below the surface of the soil. 

In these the workmen find from time to time the bones and teeth 
of the elephant and rhinoceros, and of animals of the species of the 
stag and tortoise. 

These beds of soft gravel alternate with others formed in a great 
measure of clay, in which bones are also found, but less frequently than 
in the others. 

The two skeletons of 1696 and 1799, were fifty feet below the 

Of the former, they found a thigh weighing thirty two pounds, and 
the upper extremity of another thigh as large as that of a man, weigh- 
ing nine pounds ; a shoulder four feet long and twenty-one inches 
broad ; some vertebrae and some ribs ; the heads with four molar teeth, 
each weighing twelve pounds, and two tusks eight feet in length ; 
but the greater part of these pieces were damaged. 

I shall not stop to give an account of the disputes occasioned by 
this discovery, The physicians of that country, when consulted by 
the Duke of Gotha, were unanimous in their declaration, that these 
objects were lusus natures, and they published several pamphlets in 
support of this opinion; but Tentzel, the librarian of that prince, pro- 
ceeding by a more rational process, compared each separate bone with 
the corresponding bone of the elephant, as welhas he could form an 
idea of them from the description of Allen-Moulin, and some remarks 
of Aristotle, Pliny, and Ray, and succeeded in pointing out the re- 
semblance between them. He went farther, and proved by the regu- 
larity of the layers under which this skeleton had been found, that the 
circumstance of its being there was not to be accounted for by any 
interposition of man : but that it could only have been brought thither 
by some general cause, sucli as was represented by the deluge. 

The second skeleton, that of 1799, was found in a compressed and 
bent position : it occupied a space nearly twenty feet in length; the 
hind feet were close to the tusks. The latter were ten feet long; they 
had fallen out of their sockets, and lay across each other ; they were 
tender but entire ; the arm could be easily introduced into their cavi- 
ties. All that could be preserved of the head was a part of the lower 
jaw, and two large molar teeth. The greater part of the other bones 
and the ribs fell to pieces in being removed from the sockets, but a 
portion of them was found. The cavities of the bones were in part 
filled with crystals of spath. The crown of one of the molar teeth is 
nine inches long and three broad, the upper extremity of a thigh, six 
inches, &c* 

* Zach, in the work already cited, p. 27, and nste to p. 51. 


A little farther on, and in similar strata, they found the horns of a 
stag or fossil elk ; and at the neighbouring village of Ballstadt, the 
teeth of a rhinoceros. 

In addition to those already mentioned, there are other parts of the 
valley of the Unstrut that have yielded the fossil bones of elephants. 
At Vera *, for instance, they found a tusk that weighed a hundred 
and fifteen pounds, and was ten feet long. 

The little town of Canstadt, in the district of Wirtemburg, on the 
Necker, is as celebrated as Tonna for the numerous bones of elephants 
and of other foreign animals which it has produced. The principal 
discovery took place in 1 700. David Spleiss, a physician of Schaff- 
house, has given a minute account of it in a Treatise, entitled " yEdipus 
Osteolithologicus, or an Historical and Physical Dissertation on the 
Fossil Horns and Bones of Canstadt." Schaff. 1701, 4to. In this 
treatise he inserts a rather cleverly executed essay, by Solomon Reisel, 
physician to the duke. Mention is likewise made of them in the Me- 
dulla Mirabilium of Seyfried, and in the Descriptio Ossium Fossilium 
Canstadiensium of Reisselius ; and John Samuel Carl has given a chy- 
mical analysis of them, which is excellent, considering the period at 
which it was written, in his Lapis Lydius, philosophicopyrotecknicus. 

In addition to these authorities, I am indebted to the friendship of 
Mr. Autenrieth, professor of anatomy at Tubingue, and to that of M. 
Jaeger, keeper of the Museum of Natural History at Stuttgart, for a 
circumstantial account of them. 

Those two learned men have these bones at present under their in- 
spection ; they are well acquainted with the place in which they 
were found, and they have been enabled to compare the statements 
which were drawn up at the time of their discovery. The spot where 
they were found lies to the east of Necker, a mile from the town, in 
the direction of the village of Feldbach. Reisel tells us there were 
near them the ruins of an old wall, eight feet thick and eighty in cir- 
cumference. It appeared to be the enclosure of a fort or a temple, 
which has led Spleiss to conclude that the bones were those of the 
animals they were in the habit of sacrificing there. But they were, 
for the most part, much deeper than the foundations of this wall, 
and besides, there were more of them found nearer to Necker, in a 
common mould, similar to that in which the others had been found. 
All that can be deduced from their abundance in this enclosure is, 
that they had been previously exhumed and collected into this spot, 
by some curious investigators. 

The soil is formed of yellow clay, mixed with small particles of round 
quartz and small shells. Mr. Autenrieth has sent me the drawings of 
five of these shells, which appear to me to belong to our small fresh 
water species. This clay fills the various recesses of the calcareous 
hills which skirt the valley of the Necker, and which, after having 
formed the chief part of the country of Wirtemberg, unite themselves 
to some more elevated hills, of a reddish marl, which surround the 
mountains of the high country, being calcareous, between the Necker 
and the Danube (the Alb of Souabe), and formed of granite and free- 

* Knoll. Wunder Erscheinungen ; and Goethaisclie gel. Zeitung. 17S2^ February. 


stone, between the Necke'r and the Rhine (the Blaek Forest). These 
marly hills frequently yield petrified plants and layers of coal, and their 
summits are covered with marine petrifactions;, such as ammonites 
and belemnites. 

Mr. Autenrieth has found an entire forest of prostrate trunks of 
palm trees. 

It was a soldier who was the first to remark some bones protruding 
from the earth, in April, 1 700. Eberhardt-Louis, the then reigning 
duke, caused the excavations to be continued for six months. The 
most perfect specimens were preserved with care, the residue amount- 
ing to a prodigious quantity ; for, as Reisel assures us, there were 
no less than sixty tusks sent to the medical establishment of the 
court, to be used for fossil ivory. The bones themselves were lying in 
confusion, in a great measure broken; some of them decomposed, and 
they did not bear any proportion to each other. There were, for in- 
stance, hoi'ses' teeth in cart-loads, without any bones for the tenth 
part of them. The elephants' bones seemed to have been more ele- 
vated than most of the others. In general, there were none to be 
found lower than twenty feet. A portion of them was entangled in 
a species of rock formed of clay, sand, shells, and ochre compacted to- 
gether, and they were obliged to use gunpowder to disengage them. 

The elephant bones still remaining in the Royal Museum at Stutt- 
gardt consist of the following pieces: — A portion of the upper jaw, 
with two molar teeth perfectly parallel ; two upper anterior molares, 
quite entire, and the fragments of two others ; the lines of enamel, 
in the worn parts, as in almost all the fossil molar teeth, were slight 
and-straight, almost without wreaths, and angular in the centre ; four 
back upper molar teeth and two lower; fragments and germs, bearing 
lines of enamel very well wreathed; a tusk, very much inflected, five 
feet and a half in length, and another four feet and a half, measured 
on the convex side ; the fragments of several others ; some portions 
of vertebra?, and ribs ; four shoulder blades ; three cubiti ; ^ix ossa 
innominata of the right, and seven of the left side, most of them in- 
complete ; four upper extremities of thighs ; three main bones of thighs, 
without upper extremities ; a knee ball, two tibia, and a lower jaw ; and 
a portion of the tibia, in possession of an apothecary of the same town. 

In the Museum, these bones are accompanied by many of those of 
the rhinoceros, the hyena, and of animals of the species of the horse, 
the stag, the ox, the hare, and the small carnassiers. Some very 
large epiphysed vertebrae might lead us to suppose they belonged to 
Cetacea. There are also some fragments of human bones, to "which 
I shall revert. Unfortunately, an accurate account has not been kept 
of the relative heights at which each particular bone was found during 
the six months of the excavation, nor a distinction made between the 
bones found in the entrenchment mentioned by Reisel, and those 
found beyond its limits. It is worthy of notice, also, that they dug 
up pieces of charcoal, and fragments of articles manufactured by man, 
such as vases, &c. &c, which most assuredly could not have been 
deposited there at the same period as the large bones. 

The same district has yielded fresh remains of elephants during the 
present century. 


A very remarkable depot was discovered in October, 181G. Fre- 
derick I. ordered it to be explored, and the bones to be collected with 
the greatest care. It is even stated, that the visit paid to it by that 
prince, who was so ardent in every thing that appertained to great- 
ness, helped to bring on the disease of which he died a few days after. 
An officer named Natter began some researches. In twenty-four 
hours they picked up twenty-one teeth, or parts of teeth, and a great 
quantity of bones. The king, having given directions for continuing 
the excavations, on the second day they came upon a heap, consisting 
of thirteen tusks, placed one beside the other, with some jaws, as if 
they had been designedly placed together. It was after this occur- 
rence that the king visited the spot, and ordered the whole heap to 
be raised, with the clay that surrounded it, so as to preserve the rela- 
tive positions of the several objects. The largest of the tusks, al- 
though without its point or its root, was still eight feet long, and a 
foot in diameter. They likewise found several isolated tusks, a quan- 
tity of jawbones from two inches to a foot long; some of them were 
still connected with the upper jaws. All these specimens were in a 
better state of preservation than those of 1700, a circumstance which 
may be accounted for by the depth at which they lay, and perhaps by 
the nature of the soil. The tusks were in general very much bent. 
In the same depot as in 1700, they found the bones of horses, stags, 
a quantity of rhinoceros' teeth, some others, which they supposed to be 
those of the bear, and a specimen which they believed to belong to 
the tapir. 

The place of the discovery is called Seelberg, and is nearly six 
hundred paces from the town of Canstadt, but on the other side of the 
Necker. The soil is formed of a reddish clay ; the bones were found 
from four to twenty feet deep, intermixed with fragments of quartz, 
white gravel, and shells of different species. This statement has been 
inserted in the Feuille du Matin of November, 1816, by Mr. Nutter, 
as also in the Manuel des Chasseurs (Sporting Magazine) of Wiede- 
mann, where he adds a drawing of the principal heap of tusks taken 
by himself upon the spot. 

We find by a report of the learned naturalist, M. Kielmeyer, 
which M. Natter has annexed to his work, that the molares were 
formed of very delicate straight plates, as are the greater part of the 
fossil molares. The inflection of the perfect tusks comprehends the 
three quarters of a circle, and pursues a spiral direction on the out- 

All the basons of the great rivers of Germany have yielded elephants' 
bones, as well as those places we have already mentioned ; and first, 
to continue our catalogue of those yielded by the valleys which termi- 
nate at the Rhine, Canstadt is not the only place in the valley of the 
Necker, and in those valleys running in that direction, where similar 
discoveries have been made. 

Near the small village of Berg, above Canstadt, at the outlet of the 
little valley of the Neisenbach, where stands the town of Stuttgart, 

Archives of the Primitive World, by Ballenstedt, 1819, vol. i, pp. 31- 


is a mass of curious calcareous white gravel, entirely formed of in- 
crustations of aquatic plants. 1 have frequently visited it myself; and 
have just learned from M. Autenrieth, that he has discovered the ske- 
leton of a horse there. In 1 745, a tusk weighing fifty pounds was 
found there ; and M. Jaeger brought away from the same place, a few 
years since, the lower jaw of an elephant. This is the place observed 
by Guettard, and which he mistook for Canstadt*. Some bones were 
likewise found in this valley, some above and some below Stuttgart. 
Nay, a short time since, as they were excavating a cellar, quite close 
to the walls of this latter town, they found the skeleton of a large 
elephant, two large trunks and one smaller one, in the reddish and 
blue clay. In the valley of the Rems, which emerges below Canstadt, 
they found a large molar tooth. M. Storr discovered another on the 
upper Necker, near Tubingue. The lower Necker has yielded them 
at Weinsperg, near Heilbronf; and, besides the large skull already 
noticed, it was near the junction of that river with the Rhine that they 
found the lower jaws, which have been deposited at Darmstadt. 
Bausch \> on the authority of Boetius de Boodt, mentions some fossil 
ivory found in the neighbourhood of Heidelberg, and Geyer mentions 
some bones and teeth found at Manheim §. 

The narrow valley of Kocher yielded tusks near Halle in Luabia, 
in 1494 and 1 605. The last of these is to be seen to this day, hang- 
ing in the church of Halle ; it is five hundred pounds in weight ||, but 
doubtless this includes the iron-work that supports it. An inscription 
on it tells us that there were close to it several large bones. In 1728, 
a conflagration having destroyed one-third of this town, they discovered, 
while digging the new r foundations, a quantity of fossil ivory, and one 
tusk seven feet and a half in length. A molar from the same place is 
engraved in the Museum Closterianum, fig. S. 

Among the bones of the valley of the Mein, and those of its tri- 
butary streams, Bausch, in his work on fossil ivory, p. 190, mentions 
a tusk nine feet long, found near Schweinfurt in 1571; a second, 
from the same place, in 1 648 ; a third, thirteen or fourteen feet long, 
in 1649 — all outside fortifications of that city; one in 1595, at CarJ- 
bach, near Hamelburg; one in 1649, at Zeil, thrown up by an inun- 
dation of the Mein. They had found some in the same place as early 
as 1631, and they again found others in 1657; one near VVurtzburg, 
one in the neighbourhood of Bamberg, one from the vicinity of Ge- 
roldshofen; a molar, weighing twelve pounds, near Arnstein, in 1655. 
If we cast our eyes over a map of Franconia, we shall see that all those 
places, from Bamberg to Wurtzburg, do not occupy more than twenty- 
six leagues, measuring the curves of the valley of the Mein. 

With regard to the great bason of the Danube, we have in the first 
place the rich depot in the valley of Altmuhl, described by Collini^J 

* See the Memoirs of the Academy of Sciences of Paris for 1763. 
f Bausch on Fossil Ivory, p. 189. 
I Ibid. 

§ Miscellany of Natural Curiosities. 

U Dissertatio inauguralis, physico medica de Ebore fossili, Suevico Halensi, praes. 
Fr. Hoffmann auct. Joh. Fred. Beyschlag, 1734. 
^f Memoirs of the Academy of Manhein, vol, v. 


and by Esper*, situated between the villages of Kahldorf and Raiter- 
buch, three leagues from Aichstedt. Here, too, as at Canstadt, at 
Fouvent,and elsewhere, the elephant bones were found in company with 
those of the hyena. Mr. Hammer has in his possession a vertebra and 
a portion of a head, found near Aichstedt in 1 770. In the collection 
of M. Ebel, at Bremen, I have seen a molar tooth, said to have been 
found in the same place. Although decidedly fossil in its appearance, 
it bore a strong resemblance to the molars of Africa. 

In a memoir of M. Scemmerring, on the fossil bones of the Academy 
of Munich, read to that society on the 10th of January, 1818, allusion 
is made to some fragments of ivory exhumed in September, 1 8 1 7 , at 
Miihldorf on the Inn, and to another fragment found at Burghausen 
on the Salzach, a river which falls into the Inn. 

M. Schlotheim speaks of a skeleton exhumed near Passau, at the 
confluence of the Inn and the Danube, many fragments of which are in 
his possession f. 

At Krembs, a little lower down, a jaw tooth was dug up by the 
SwedesJ in 1644, while employed in digging a trench; and a tibia 
and a thigh were found at Baden, near Vienna, on the river Schwecha §. 

To these we might be tempted to add the supposed giant, likewise 
found near Krembs, in 1 645 ; but we know at present, as shall be 
shown in its proper place, that it was the body of a narrow-toothed 

The fossil ivory of Moravia, mentioned by Wormius ||, also belonged 
to the great bason of the Danube. 

The immense skull exhumed in 1805 at Wulfersdorf, not far from 
Bleya, mentioned by Andrew Stutz in his Oryctography of lower 
Austria^], was found at a short distance from the same place. 

With regard to that part of the bason which stretches along into 
H ungary, we have in the first place the bones of elephants found at 
Kayser-Steinbruck, immediately on the other side of the -Leitha, which 
are likewise noticed by Andrew Stutz. 

We read in the Journal of the Empire of the 25th of December, 
1807, an article dated Frankfort the 21st, announcing the discovery 
of several parts of the skeleton of an elephant, in a high state of pre- 
servation, at Neustsedtl or Vag-Ujheli, on the Vag in Hungary, where 
the soil had been perforated to a considerable depth. 

M. Hammer has in his possession the fragment of a molar tooth 
found at Buggau, near Schemnitz, in Hungary. The waters of this 
river fall into the Gran. 

We may see in Marsigli, article the Danube, page 73, and plates 
xxviii, xxix, xxx, xxxi, a vertebra of the neck, a fragment of the 
shoulder, a molar tooth, a fragment of a tusk, and a very large lower 
jaw, found in different parts of Hungary and Transylvania, most com- 

* Society of Naturalists at Berlin, vol. v. 

t Essay on the Knowledge of Petrifactions, p. 5. 

X European Theatre, vol. v. Seybold Medulla Mirabil., p. 439. 

§ Lambecius, Bib. cecs., vol vi, pp. 315,316. Happelius Relat. cur., vol. iv, p. 4' 

|| Mus., p. 54. 

*; Vienna, 1807, in 12mo.,p- 164. 


monly in the marshes. The jaw was found a little ahove the Roman 
Rampart, which extends from the Theiss to the Danube, opposite to 
Peter- Yaradin; and this circumstance was quite sufficient to give it a 
Roman origin. The vertebra and the teeth were found in a marsh 
of the Syrmia, between the Save and the Buszut, and the peasants say 
there were ribs found in the same place. In fine, the shoulder was 
from another marsh near Fogaras, in Transylvania, formerly the resi- 
dence of the princes of the country, and lying close to the river Alts. 
Part of these pieces are still preserved in the Museum of the Insti- 
tute of Bologne, where I have seen them. 

Fichtel* tells us that a tusk six feet long was extracted from a 
little mound entirely composed of nummularia, near Jegenye, in the 
district of Rolocz, which empties itself into the Maiosch. This would 
be a circumstance unique in its way, if it were well authenticated; but 
it is possible that some soft layers, filled with nummularia, may have 
fallen down on a more modern soil. 

The Literary Journal of Gcettinguef speaks of bones and teeth found 
near Harasztos, a village adjoining Klausbourg, whose waters fall into 
the Theiss. 

Bruckmann had already made mention of the calcined teeth of Tran- 
sylvania J. 

But to return to Germany : we find in the bason of the Weser the 
skeleton exhumed in 1722, at Tiede, in the valley of the Ocker, quite 
close to Wolfenbuttel on the high road leading from Gcettingue to 
Brunswick §. Leibnitz had previously published the engraving of a 
jaw found in the same place ||. 

M. Berger, a surgeon of Brunswick, has very recently made a 
most magnificent discovery of a prodigious quantity of bones, tusks, 
and jaws of elephants, collected together in a heap with the bones of 
the rhinoceros, the horse, the stag, and the ox. There is a very fine en- 
graving of this wonderful heap published in 1818, by M. C. Schroe- 
der; for a knowledge of which fact I am indebted to the friendly com- 
munication of the celebrated M. Blumenboch, accompanied by a little 
essay from the pen of M. Charles Bieling, veterinary surgeon to 
the Duke of Brunswick ^f. Another account of them may be seen 
in the Brunswick Magazine for 1817, Nos. 19 and 20 ; in the Ana- 
lis de Physique of Gilbert, eleventh number, 1817, translated into the 
Universal Library of Geneva, for February, 1818, in the Archives of 
the Primitive World, by M. Ballenstedt, a grazier, living near Bruns- 
wick, and in several other works. 

These bones were lying at the foot of a hill, composed of gypsum 

* Treatise on the Petrifactions of the grand Duchy of Transylvania. Nuremburg, 
.1780, vol. ii, p. 119. 

f No. 6, 1798. 

J Travelling Epistles, 48. I quote it from Targioni, for I have not been able to 
find the passage. 

§ Bruckmann's Epist. Itin. 30, and Hamburg Berichte, vol. of 17-14. 

|| Protogrea, last plate. 

^ Wolfenbuttel, 1819, in 4to., German title. History of the Discovery and a Re- 
presentation of the Geognostic Situation of the Group of Bones aud Fossil Teeth 
discovered near the village of Tiede, &c. 


ami anhydrite, mixed with salt. It is known in that country under 
the name of Lindenberg, and rises a hundred and fifty feet above the 
level of the plain. They were covered by a layer of clay at least 
twelve feet thick. 

M. Berger, having accidentally observed a large jaw bone among 
the stones used for repairing the roads, immediately commenced a 
search in the neighbourhood of the hill, and with the help of the pro- 
prietor, M. Rcever, he succeeded in bringing to light this immense 
depot. It contained no less than eleven tusks ; one of which, eleven 
feet one inch, or, according to other accounts, fourteen feet eight 
inches, formed a perfect semicircle. The number of jaws amounted to 
thirty. Of these, twenty-two have been recognised by M. Strom- 
beck as resembling in every particular the other fossil jaws of the ele- 
phant. This mineralogist has set down two of them as belonging to 
Africa; but we shall see farther on circumstances that may lead us to 
doubt this assertion. Some of the bones were five feet long *. 

Proceeding onward along the bason of the VVeser, we find an entire 
skeleton, discovered, in 1742, by Dr. Kcenig at Osterode, under 
Klausthal, at the foot of the Hartz, which looks towards Gcettingue, 
in the same spot where they discovered the shoulder blade and radius 
of a rhinoceros in 1773 f. 

According to the account of M. Blumenbach, similar bones had 
been discovered in 1724 ; and he states the fact upon the authority of a 
manuscript memoir. It would appear that they abound in the wide 
extent of the Hartz. 

According to Schefter +, there were some found in 1663, near 
Herzberg, and, in 1748, near Mauderode, in the county of Hohen- 
stein. More recently, in 1803, there were some discovered in the 
same county, near Steiger-Thal, according to the testimony of Feder §„ 

Mr. Blumenbach, who has furnished me with the preceding facts, 
has himself described a discovery still more recent. It was made in 
1808, at the foot of the Hartz, a league from the place where the bones 
of the rhinoceros described by Hollman had been found. The bones 
were two feet below the surface in a marly bed, lying between gyp- 
seous hills. There were four jaws of elephants, and the lower jaw of 
a hyena, almost perfect ||. 

The bones of Bettenhausen, near Cassel, on the Fulda % as well as 
those of Hesse in general **, and those of Hildesheimon thelnnersiteff, 
and those of the neighbourhood of Hildburghausen %%-, also belong to 
the bason of the Weser. 

M. Grandidier, manager of the Museum of Cassel, lias done me the 

* Strombeck's Notes on the German Translation of the Geology of Breislack, 
vol. i, p. 428. 

f Brackmann's Epist. in Cent. II. ep. 29, p. 306. 

% Journey to the Hartz, in the collection of Grundig, 

§ Hanoverian Magazine. 

|| Nouv. litter, de Goettingue, 2nd of June, 1808 ; and from a private letter of 
M. de Bonnard, engin. of the mines. 

% Walch, in Knorr. Monuments, vol. ii, sect, ii, p. 162. 

** Bausch on Fossil Ivory, p. 189. 

•f-f" Idem, ibid. 

XX Keissler's Travels, vol. ii, p. 1360, 

VOL, I, B B 


honour to write to me, that there are there preserved ten jaws of Betten- 
hausen, found while a well was heing sunk, and many fragments dis- 
covered in a calcareous hill near Cassel. 

In the bason of the Elbe, besides the entire skeletons of the valley of 
the Unstrut just mentioned, we find a quantity of bones of Esperstedt, 
in the county of Mansfeld, between Halle in Saxony and Querfurt, 
and in a valley that terminates in the vale of the Sala * ; a circum- 
stance that is rather extraordinary, because a part of them were found 
in a quarry of hard stone. 

Scheuchzer preserved a molar in his museumf ; he had another, found 
at Querfurt at the source of a little stream that falls into the Sala J. 

It would appear from the testimony of Buttner, that these quarries of 
Querfurt, of Esperstedt, and their vicinities are very rich in these fossil 
bones §. 

They have lately found a tooth ten inches long and six pounds in 
weight at the village of Reinsdorf in the same district. It was at the 
bottom of a hillock in a bed of clay, twenty-four inches from the 
surface ||. 

In 1672, the Sala threw up near Kumberb, a little below Iena, a 
tusk six feet long, and, on some excavations being made, six molar 
teeth and a number of large bones were exhumed ^j. 

They have recently been found on the Elba itself**, below Des- 
sau, at Potsdam, at the confluence of the Havel and the Spreeff, 
and at Wester-Egeln, upon the Buda, six miles from Magdebourg. 
The latter are said to have been discovered in a quarry of gyp- 
sum ; but it is probable that it was on or near some layers of gyp- 
sum like those of Tiede |J. 

in the month of June, 1809, they discovered some elephants' bones 
at Zellendorf, a village near the little town of Seyda, which is close to 
Wittemberg. Some of them were procured by MM. Langguth and 
Nitsch, professors at Wittemberg, and they are still preserved in the 
museum of the former. They were six feet below the surface, in a 
gravel bed, in a hollow, half a league from Zellendorf, close to a little 
reservoir, in a place from which the inhabitants draw marl ; and they 
recollect having seen similar bones there thirty years ago. All that 
M. Langguth could save, from the awkwardness of the workmen, con- 
sists of two jaws, of nine plates each, and a few fragments §§. 

Sondershausen on the Wipra, which falls into the Unstrut, also 
belongs to the bason of the Elbe. Walch |||| tells us, that the bones 

* Hoffmann and Beychlag on the Fossil Ivory of Halle, p. 9 ; Schultz's Com- 
merc. Litt. Norimb., 1732, p. 405 ; and Buttner Ruder, dil. test., p. 215. 

■f" Antediluvian Museum, p. 101, No. xxv. 

X Ibid., No. xv. 

§ Buttner, Ruder, dil. test. 223, &c. 

|| Gazette de France, 18th January, 1821. 

% Buttner, in the passage before quoted, p. 215. 

** Meincke's Society of Naturalists at Berlin, p. 479. 

ft Fucb's ibid., p. 474. 

XX Archives of the Discoveries of the Primitive World, by Ballenstadt and Kruger, 
1821, vol. ii, p. 419. 

§§ Wittemberg Papers, No. xxv, 1809. I owe this reference to the friendship of 
M. Chladni. 

IHI Knorr's Monuments, vol. ii, sect, ii, p. 163. 


wf elephants have been found there very much calcined. Altenbourg, 
on the Pleiss, appertains to the same bason ; some fossil ivory was 
found there in 1740 *. Here, also, we must notice the fossil ivory found 
near Rabschitz, on the road from Meissen to Freyberg, mentioned by 
Fabricius, in his Annals of the Town of Meissen, dated 1566 f ; the tusk 
extracted from a rock near Saalberg, which this same author cele- 
brates in some wretched Latin verses \, and the bones found in the 
vegetable earth at Erxeben near Erfurt §. 

Bohemia yields a fair proportion of the bones of elephants, according 
to the testimony of M. John Meyer, who gives a drawing of a jaw 
bone from among several that were found with some other bones near 
Podiebrad in 1782; he was in possession of a piece of ivory from 
Kosteletz on the Elbe, between Melnik and Liboch : the latter was ten 
inches in diameter. The same author states, that, in the Imperial 
Museum at Prague, there is preserved a tusk almost perfect, found in 
the vicinity of Libeschiz. In addition to this, he assures us, that he 
can speak to several other pieces ; and that the historians of Bohemia 
mention numerous discoveries of bones of extraordinary size, made for 
the most part when the rivers had carried away a portion of their 
banks ||. 

It was not easy to attribute to the Romans the remains of elephants 
found buried in the north of Germany, and as far as the banks of the 
Elbe, whither the armies of that people never appear to have ad- 
vanced ; but as they had discovered in Eginhart % and in the other an- 
nalists of the times of Charlemagne, that the Caliph Haaroun Al Raschid, 
at the request of that prince, had sent him an elephant, wbich tra- 
velled in safety as far as Aix la Chapelle, they supposed that Charle- 
magne might have had it led farther north, and, as long as they made 
isolated discoveries only, they sought to account for them by this indi- 
vidual elephant. It is needless to remark how puerile such an idea 
looks at the present day, when they have discovered the bones of 
elephants in Germany by the hundred. 

If we cross the German Ocean to the British isles, which, by their 
position, were cut off from the opportunity of receiving many live 
elephants in ancient times (although Polieenus ** indeed asserts, that 
Csesar transported one thither), we shall find that the fossil remains are 
there in as great abundance as on the continent. 

In the middle ages, giants had been found there ; and Simon 
Majolus mentions one, exposed by a river in 1171 %%■ 

* Schnetter's Letter to J. J. Raab, June, 1740. 

T Bausch on Fossil Ivory, 189. 

1 Albinus Meissniche Berg-Chronik, p. 172. 

§ Walch, Knorr's Monuments, vol. ii, sect, ii, p. 162, who quotes Baumer's Trans- 
actions of the Academy of Eufurt, vol. ii ; but I could find no allusion to the subject 
in the Observations on Subterraneous Geography in the Transactions of the Aca- 
demy of Erfurt of 1776, the only essay of Baumer which can come under that de- 
signation. There are merely two plates in that volume, representing bones of the 
rhinoceros, to which I shall refer hereafter. 

|| Memoir of a Private Society at Bohemia, vol. vi. p. 260. pi. iii. 

1f Recueil des Histor. de France, vol. v. p. 95. 

** Polinseus, book viii. c. 23. s. 5. 

5fl Dierum CanicuL Coll. iL p. 36, in Sloane, Acad, of Sciences, 1727, p. 320. 

B B 2 


Sloane was in possession of a tusk exhumed in Gray's-Inn Lane, 
London, from some gravel, twelve feet beneath the surface *. 

The splendid mineralogical map of England, published in 1819 by 
the Geological Society of London, and principally due to the industry 
and zeal of Mr. Greenough, president of that learned society, points 
out a depot of elephants' bones on the coast of Kent, to the north of 
Canterbury, in a spot usually covered by the high tides. 

The isle of Sheppy, lying not far from thence, at the mouth of the 
Thames and Medway, has yielded a tusk, a vertebra, and a thigh, in 
a spot which is also washed by the sea f. 

Mr. Vetch, an English officer, has shown me the drawing of a jaw 
bone seventeen English inches long, and of twenty-one plates, which 
he found in 1820, at Chatham, near the Medway, at a depth of four 
feet in the gravel : he deposited it in the British Museum. 

There were some elephants' bones, with those of the rhinoceros, the 
hippopotamus, the stag, and the ox, which were discovered by the late 
Mr. Trimmer, close to Brentford, in Middlesex, opposite Kew, with 
land and fresh water shells ; there is a description of them in the 
Transactions of the Philosophical Society, of 1813. They were in a 
gravel bed, resting on an extensive layer of that blue clay which 
stretches over such an extent of country both in France and England I. 
Two large portions of jaws belonging to this collection are peculiarly 
remarkable. M. Deluc mentions similar discoveries having been 
made in the same place as early as 1791 §. 

Near Woodstock, in Oxfordshire, in a quarry called Stonefield, they 
found some vertebree, and a very large thigh ||. 

Sloane was also in possession of a molar tooth from Northampton- 
shire, found in blue clay, beneath fourteen inches of vegetable earth, 
eighteen of clay, and thirty of shells mixed with earth %. Cuper ** 
would have it, that this was the very identical elephant of Caesar, which 
we have just mentioned ; but they are found in such numbers, that 
this objection is no longer maintainable. 

A molar of fourteen plates, found in the same county, lay at a greater 
distance : it was beneath sixteen feet of vegetable earth, five of sandy 
clay, mixed with shells, a foot of black sand, mixed with small stones, 
a foot of fine gravel, and two of coarse gravel. The blue clay only 
commenced at this point ff. 

At Newnham, near Rugby, in Warwickshire, they found, in 1815, 
three large tusks, with other bones of elephants, and, at the same time, 
two skulls of the rhinoceros, to which I shall hereafter advert, and a 
quantity of stags' horns. These fossils were in a gravel very much 
mixed with clay. I am indebted for these facts to a Mr. Howship, a 

* Academy of Sciences, 1727, p. 306, &c. 

T Jacob, Philosophical Transactions, vol. xlviii, p. 626, 627. 

J Phil. Trans, of 1813. 

§ Letters to Biumenbach, p. 15. 

|| Medical Journal of Venice, quoted by Targioni, Travels, vol. viii. 

Tf Sloane, passage above quoted, p. 434 ; and Morton's Natural History of 
Northamptonshire, p. 252. 

** Gisb. Cuper, de Eleph. in numm. obv., p, 154. 

ft Sloane, at the passage above quoted, p. 445 ; and Morton, ibid, and table xi., 
fig. 4. 


surgeon of London, and to Mr. Buckland, professor of geology in the 
university of Oxford. The tusks were very much curved, like most of 
those of Siberia. Mr. Parkinson had one, found at Wellsbourn, in the 
same county *. 

There was a lower jaw exhumed at Trentham, in Staffordshire f. 
Mr. Parkinson had a molar with very thick plates, also found in 
Staffordshire J. 

In 1700, a quantity of large bones, among which was a shoulder, 
were dug up at Wrebness, near Harwich, on the river Stour, in 
Essex. They were in a gravel bed, sixteen feet below the surface §. 

M. DeBurtin has a molar from the neighbourhood of Harwich ||. 

In the month of August, 1803, they found a huge skeleton, thirty 
feet long, near the same town ; but the bones crumbled to atoms on 
being handled. It is probable that this measurement was rather 
guessed at than accurately ascertained^. 

Mr. Parkinson likewise speaks of bones of elephants found with 
those of other large animals, particularly the rhinoceros, at Cape 
Walton, a little to the south of Harwich ; they were also in gravel, 
reposing upon clay. He also mentions a lower jaw, and several 
teeth, with very narrow plates, found in the county of Essex**. 

In 1745, there were found at Norwich, in Norfolkshire, a molar 
tooth, weighing eleven English pounds, and several large bones f f° 

The mineralogical map of England further points out three places 
on the coast of Norfolk, where depots of elephants' bones were 
found ; and one in Yorkshire, between Whitby and Scarborough. 

Owing to the kind communication of M. G. A. Deluc, I have myself 
had an opportunity of inspecting the bone of the joint of the little 
toe of the right fore foot found at Kew, in Surrey, eighteen feet be- 
low the surface. Of the lesser incumbent soils, one foot and a half 
was mould, five feet a reddish sandy clay, good for making bricks, eight 
of flinty gravel, and three of reddish sand, reposing upon clay. This 
sand contained a quantity of bones of another description ; amongst 
others, the nucleus of the horn of an animal of the genus ox j and in 
the same field they found, in clay, a tusk eight feet seven inches long, 
which fell to pieces on being touched. The clay contained shells; and, 
amongst others, those of the nautilus, according to Mr. Deluc ; but, 
perhaps, they are nothing more than the mollusca planorbial JJ, 

In addition to this, Mr. Peale mentions some bones having been 
found in the plain of Salisbury in Wiltshire, near Bristol in Somerset- 
shire, and in the Isle of Dogs §§. Dom Calmet had previously spoken 

* Fossil Remains, vol. iii, p. 345. 

f Sloane, ibid., p. 467 ; and Plot's Nat. Hist, of the County of Stafford. 

X Fossil Remains, vol. iii, p. 344, plate xx, fig. 6. 

§ John Luff kin, Phil. Trans., vol. xxii, No. 274, p. 924. 

|| Burton's Prize Essay of Haarlem, p. 25. •. 

If Fortia d'Urban's Considerations on the Ancient Origin and History of the 
Globe. Paris, 1807, p. 188. 

** Fossil Remains, vol. iii, p. 344. 

ft Henry Baker, Phil. Trans., vol. 45, p. 331. 

XX These details are extracted from a letter written to me by the late M. G. A. 
Deluc, dated Geneva, 6th of December, 1805. 

§§ Historical Disquisition on the Mammoth, p. 7, note. 


of a giant found in the neighbourhood of Salisbury, near the famous 
Stonehenge *. 

In 1 630, a portion of the skull and some teeth were found at Glou- 
cester, near the Severn f. 

Pennant J procured two molars and a tusk from Flintshire ; they were 
found by some miners in a gravel bed, beneath a lead mine, one hundred 
and eighteen feet below the surface : among the upper 9trata was one 
of calcareous stone, from eleven to twelve feet thick ; the antlers of a 
stag were found with these bones. I have a strong suspicion that this 
position has not been accurately described, otherwise it would be 
unique in its kind. 

Ireland has yielded the bones of elephants even in its most northern 
counties. In 1715, four fine jaw bones were exhumed at Magherry, 
near Belturbet, in the county of Cavan, as the inhabitants were dig- 
ging the foundation of amill§. 

Even Scandinavia, though so little qualified to afford subsistence to 
living elephants, nevertheless contains their fossil bones. 

M. Quensel, superintendant of the Museum of Natural History at 
Stockholm, has been so kind as to send me the drawing of a large 
lower jaw, very much worn, belonging to his museum, it was found in 
a hill of sand near the river Fie in Ostrobothnia. 

.1. J. Daebeln gave descriptions and drawings of gigantic bones || ex- 
humed in 1735 at Falkenberg, in the province of Holland. To judge 
by the figures, they are the first rib and a bone of the carpus of an 

The bones exhumed in Norway, spoken of by Pantoppidan, cannot 
be referred to any other animal^f. In fine, even Iceland does not prove 
an exception to the general list. 

Thomas Bartholin mentions the jaw of an elephant as having been 
sent from that island to Resenius, who presented it to the public 
Museum of the University of Copenhagen. It was petrified in silex **. 

Sloane was in possession of one which had been changed into the 
same matter tt. but he does not mention where it was found. 

Pantoppidan likewise tells us, on the authority of Torfseus, of a skull 
and a tooth of prodigious size found in Iceland. 

To the east of Germany commences those immense sandy plains 
which give their name to Poland, spreading over the entire breadth of 
Russia, as far as the Caspian Sea and the Ouralian Mountains. 

The first bason we meet with in this line is that of the Oder. For 
particulars relative to this bason we must consult the Silesia Subter- 
ranea of Volkmann. He there speaks of a shoulder bone IX suspended 

* Dictionary of the Bible, p. 460. 
f Sloane's Acad, des Sc. 1727, p. 445. 
X Pennant's works, vol. xv, p. 158. 

§ Francis Neville, Phil. Trans., vol. xxix, No. 349, p. 367. See also Neville and 
Molyneux's Nat. Hist, of Ireland, Dublin, 1726, in quarto, p. 128. 
|| Act. Ac. Nat. Cur., vol. v. 

^f Pontoppidan's Nat. Hist, of Norway, English translation, 1755, vol. ii, p. 262. 
** Act. Med. Hafn, vol. i, p. 83, No. xlvi. 

ft Memoirs of the Academy of Sciences at Paris, 12mo, 1727, vol. ii, p. 447. 
XX Plate xxv, fig. 1. 


in the church of Trehnitz, of a thigh in the cathedral of Breslaw *, and 
of a supposed giant exhumed at Liegnitz, in digging the foundation of 
a church, whose bones were distributed among the principal churches 
of the country. A thigh was drawn from the Oder itself in 1 6.52, near 
Kleinschemnitz f. 

To the east of the bason of the Oder, we find that of the Vistula 
in Poland and in Russia. 

Although this bason has been much less attentively examined than 
those of the rivers of Germany, it lias nevertheless yielded its share of 
the bones of elephants ; and, like so many others, has furnished matter 
for the legends of giants, which may be seen in the Natural History of 
Prussia, by Bock, vol. ii, p. 394. Conrad Gessner received a tusk from 
that country j. 

Raczinsky mentions a molar tooth found on the banks of the same 
river, six miles from Warsaw §, and Klein speaks of another found in 
1736, six feet deep in the sand, near the convent of St. Adalbert, half 
a mile from Dantzick ||. 

We have in the King's Museum two fossil molars transmitted from 
that of the Academy of Sciences, and marked as having been found in 
Poland : I have reason to believe we owe them to Guettard. Neither 
is the bason of the Dniester or Tyras unprovided with them. This 
same Klein speaks of some molars, and several other bones, thrown up 
by that river near Kaminiek in 1720 %. They are also found in the 
Bog or Hypanis.We read in the Journal of Marseilles, of the 19th of Fe- 
bruary, 1820, the description of a thigh drawn out of that river oppo- 
site Nicolaief, ten or twelve leagues from the sea, on the 25th of Au- 
gust, 1819. The lower extremity of this thigh was brought into 
France by the Chevalier Raynaud, a merchant of Odessa, and, at the 
instance of the Duke de Richelieu, deposited by him in the King's 
Museum. I have caused a drawing of it to be taken ; it indicates an 
animal nearly fifteen feet in height. 

Of all countries in the world, that which has actually furnished, and 
still contains the greatest quantity of elephants' bones, is the vast 
empire of Russia, and particularly those provinces where we should 
least expect to find them, viz. the most frozen regions of Siberia. 

In Russia in Europe they were discovered in several places at 
a very early period. Some of enormous size were found at Swijatowski, 
seventeen wersts from Petersburg, in 1775 **. 

In the Museum of that city, there is a tusk from the neighbourhood 
of Archangel. ft. m the valley of the Dwina. 

Cornelius Lebrun mentions some tusks found immediately beneath 
the surface, at Kostynsk near Voroneg, which Peter the Great, who, 

* Plate xxv, fig. 2. 
f Eph. Ac. Nat. Cur. 1665. 
X De fig. lap. p. 137. 
§ Nat. Hist, of Poland, vol. i. 

|| Hist. Pise. Nat. Promov. e miss., vol. ii, p. 32. J 

^[ Idem, ibidem. 

** Journal of Politics and Literature, 5th of January, 1776. Buffon's Epochs of 
Nature, justificatory note 9. 

ft Pall. Nov. Com. Petrop., voL xiii, p. 471. 


it would appear, had not then been informed of the quantities found in 
Siberia, attributed to Alexander*. 

In fact, there is an enormous heap of those bones, as well as of those 
of other animals, near the town of Kostynsk, on the banks of the Tanais 
or Don f- 

M. Pallas, in his late Travels in the Southern Provinces of Russia, 
records instances of discoveries made* in several places between the 
Tanais and the Wolga, such as tbe neighbourhood of Penza J and other 
places near to the Wolga § . 

It was from a sandy ferruginous bed near the Wolga, that the head, 
four feet long, was exhumed, which was presented to the Academy of 
Petersburg, by the Count de Puschkin, an engraving of which is given 
by Tilesius in the Memoirs of that Academy ||. 

The Count Maison, a French officer in the Russian service, who is 
Governor of Nogais Tartary, transmitted to the King's Museum, 
through the Chevalier Gamba, French consul at Taganrog, a portion of 
the upper extremity of a thigh, exhumed from a depth of forty-five 
feet, near Melochnye Vodi, a little river which falls into the Palus 
Mseotis, and one of those which has been supposed to be the Gerrhus 
of Herodotus. This fragment indicates an animal from fourteen to 
fifteen feet high. At a very remote period, Phlegonus of Taralles, on 
the authority of Theopompus of Sinope, mentioned the circumstance of 
a skeleton, twenty-four cubits in length, having been thrown up by an 
earthquake, near the Cimmserian Bosphorus %, the bones of which 
were thrown into the Palus Mseotis. 

It is probable, too, that the gigantic animal, the remains of which 
were cast on shore by the sea, near Azof, was also an elephant. The 
lower jaw of which, thirty pounds in weight, is deposited in the 
Museum of the Academy at Petersburg**. It is not a little singular 
that this learned society should mention it in their Memoirs, without 
positively determining its species. 

As for what may properly be denominated Asiatic Russia, the uni- 
versal testimony of travellers and naturalists concurs in representing it 
as being literally surcharged with these enormous spoils ft- 

So general is this phenomenon, that the inhabitants of Siberia have 
invented a fable to explain it. They have imagined that these bones 
and tusks belong to a subterraneous animal, whose manner of living is 
similar to that of the mole, but which cannot behold the light of day 
with impunity. They have called this animal the mammotit or the mam- 
mouth, derived, as some would have it, from the word mamma, signifying 
earth in some Tartar dialect ++; and, according to others, from the Ara- 

* Lebrun's Travels to the East Indies, p. 65. 

t Pall. Nov. Com. Petrop.,xvii, p. 578. Gmel., Travels in Siberia, in Germ., vol. i, 
p. 34. 

X French Translation, vol. i, p. 41. 

§ Ibid, pp. 93, 94, 101, 102. 

|| Ibid., volume v, pi. xi. 

"jf Phlegonus of Tralbes, De Rebus Mirabilius, chap. xix. 

** Novo Act. Petrop., vol. xiii, pp. 23 and 33. 

ft See Ludolf's Gram. Russ. Isbrand Ides, Laurent Lang, Sam. Bernh. Muller, 
Strahlenberg, Gmelin, Pallas, &c. 

XX Pallas's passage before cited. 


bian behemoth, used in the book of Job to indicate an unknown 
animal of immense size. Others again trace it to the word mehemoth, 
an epithet which the Arabians are in the habit of adding to the name 
of an elephant (fihl) of extraordinary size *. It is by the name of 
horns of the mammont (mammontovakost) that the Siberians desig- 
nate the fossil tusks, which are so numerous and so perfect, particu- 
larly in the northern provinces, that they are used for the same pur- 
poses as fresh ivory, and form so important an article of commerce, 
that the czars formerly made an effort to acquire a monopoly of that 
article f . 

This fable of a subterraneous animal is likewise prevalent among the 
Chinese ; they call the teeth of the mammouth tien-schu-ya (teeth of 
tien-schu). In the great natural history, Bun-zoo-gann-mu, composed 
in the sixteenth century, we find the following article on the tien- 

" The animal called tien-schu, of which mention has been made in the 
very old work on the ceremonial, intitled Ly-ki (a work written in the 
fifth century before Christ), is also called tyn-chu, or yn-schu, that is to 
say, the mouse that conceals itself. It abides in subterraneous 
caverns : it resembles a mouse, but is equal to an ox or a buffalo in 
size. It has no tail, and is of a dusky colour. It is very strong, and 
scoops out dens in th.e rocks and forests." 

Another writer, quoted by the former, expresses himself in these 
terms : — 

" The tyn-schu confines itself solely to the most obscure and 
unfrequented places. It dies the instant it meets the rays of the sun 
or moon. Its feet are disproportionably small, which causes it to walk 
badly. Its tail is a Chinese ell long. Its eyes are small and its neck 
curved. It is very lazy and stupid. At the period of the inundation 
of the river Tan-schuann-tuy (in 1751) great numbers of tyn-schu 
appeared in the plain : they live on the roots of the plant fu-kia." 

These curious details are extracted from a note communicated to the 
Academy of Petersburg, by M. Klaproth, and published by M. Ti- 
lesius, in the Memoirs of that Academy, vol. v, p. 409. 

M. Klaproth furthermore states, that, having consulted a Mantchou 
manuscript, he found the following passage : — 

" The animal named fin-schu is only found in the cold regions 
on the banks of the river Tai-tunn-giann, and more northward, as 
far as the northern ocean. In shape it resembles a mouse, but in 
size it equals the elephant. It dreads the light, and conceals itself 
in obscure grottos beneath the earth. Its bones are as white as 
ivory, very easily worked, and without cracks. Its flesh is very cold 
and very wholesome." 

Probably it is the profit produced by these tusks of the mam- 
moth which has stimulated the Russians and the other tribes in- 
habiting Siberia to seek them out, and which has led to the dis- 
covery of such quantities of the bones of that animal throughout that 
vast country : add to this, that the immense rivers which fall into the 

* Strahlenberg, p. 403 of the English Translation, 
f Present State of Russia, by Sloane. 


Frozen Ocean, and which are prodigiously swollen at the breaking up 
of the ice, detach, undermine, and carry away with them great portions 
of their banks, and thus throw up, from year to year, bones which had 
till then lay concealed ; and, independent of this, quantities are found in 
digging wells and foundations. From this latter circumstance it is 
impossible to entertain the opinion that they have been merely car- 
ried down by those streams from the mountains adjoining India, 
where elephants may exist in the natural state down to the present 
day, as the late Mr. Patrin imagined *. Besides this, they are found 
in as great abundance along the Wolga, the Don, and the Jaik, which 
flow from the north, and along the Lena, the Indighirska, the Kolyma, 
and even the Anadir f, which descend from the very cold mountains of 
Chinese Tartary, where most certainly there are no elephants, as along 
the Obi, the Jenissei, and its tributary streams. Of the latter, the 
Irtisch alone approaches near enough to the mountains of Thibet to 
countenance the application of this hypothesis with any thing like the 
appearance of probability. It was on the banks of the Indighirska that 
the splendid specimen of a skull was found, which is described by 
Messerschmidt, and of which we shall give an engraving. 

They are found even in the remote region of the peninsula of Kam- 
tchatka, whither they could not have proceeded from India by any 
possible means, without taking a long circuitous course +. 

There is not, observes M. Pallas §, in the whole extent of Asiatic 
Russia, from the Don or Tanais to the extremity of the promontory of 
Tchutchis, a single stream, a single river, particularly those which 
flow through the plains, whose banks or bed have not yielded the bones 
of elephants and of other animals which were strangers to the climate. 

But the more elevated regions, the primitive and schistous chains, are 
destitute of them as well as of marine petrifactions, while the lower 
declivities, and the great slimy and sandy plains, invariably yield them 
wherever they are intersected by rivers or streams ; a circumstance 
which proves that they would be found in as great quantities in every 
part of their wide extent, if there was the same opportunity of investi- 
gation. Again, they are found in very inconsiderable quantities in 
low and swampy grounds : thus, the Obi, which at times flows along 
through low and swampy forests, and at others dashes through craggy 
and precipitous banks, yields them in the latter places alone : " Ubi ad- 
jacentes colles arenosi preeruptam ripam efficiunt," (where theproximity 
of sand hills makes the banks precipitous). Strahlenberg had made the 
same observation several years before, on the manner in which these 
bones are left behind by inundations [|. They are found in every lati- 
tude. The northern countries yield the best ivory, because it has been 
less exposed to the action of the elements. 

Leaving out of the question this prodigious abundance, a circum- 

• Patrin's Natural History of Minerals, vol. v, p . 391. New Dictionary of Natu- 
ral Sciences, Art. Fossils. 

f Pall. Nov. Com. Petrop., xiii, p. 471. 

X Tilesius' Memoirs of the Academy of Petersburg, vol. v, p. 423, note. 

§ Nov. Com. Petrop., vol. xvii, 1772, p. 576. 

|| Strablenberg, passage before quoted. 


stance which must at once exclude all idea of expeditions conducted 
by men, is, that, in several places, as well in France, in Germany, in 
Italy, in fine, as everywhere, these bones have been found intermixed 
with an innumerable quantity of the bones of other wild animals, large 
and small. The bones are scattered, and it is only here and there that 
an entire skeleton has been found in a sort of sepulchre of sand. 

It is worthy of notice, too, that they are frequently found in or 
beneath beds interspersed with marine productions, such as shells, 
and petrified sharks' teeth, &c. These are the observations of M. 
Pallas. A peculiarity which is no less striking than any of those 
mentioned by that great naturalist is this, that in many places the 
bones of elephants have been discovered, with pieces of flesh or other 
soft matter still adhering to them. It is a generally received opinion 
among the people of Siberia, that mammonts have been dug up 
clothed with their fresh and bleeding flesh. This of course is an ex- 
aggeration, but it is founded on the fact of their being sometimes 
found with the flesh preserved by the frost. 

Isbrand Ides speaks of a head, the flesh of which was corrupted, and 
of a congealed foot as large as that of a middle sized man ; and John 
Bernhard Muller mentions a tusk, the cavity of which was filled with a 
matter resembling coagulated blood. We might feel inclined to doubt 
these facts, as I remarked in the first edition of this work, if they were 
not confirmed by one of a similar kind, the authenticity of which is 
beyond all question. A rhinoceros, complete in every respect, with 
its flesh, skin, and hair, was exhumed at Vilhoui in 1771. We are 
indebted to M. Pallas for a circumstantial account of this^ discovery, 
and the head and feet are still preserved at St. Petersburg. Since 
that period two additional confirmations, still more decisive of the fact, 
have presented themselves. 

The first is that of an elephant found on the banks of the Alaseia, a 
river which falls into the Frozen Ocean, on the other side of the Indig- 
hirska, of which an account is given in the travels of Sarytschew. 
It had been disengaged by the river, and was found in an upright po- 
sition. It was almost entire, and covered by its skin, to certain parts 
of which long hairs were still attached *. 

The second is that of the elephant conveyed to Petersburg by Mr. 
Adams, the perfection of which bordered close upon the marvellous. 
The fact was first announced in the Journal du Nord, printed at 
Petersburg, in October, 1807. The account was copied into several 
German papers, and was again reprinted in 1815, inthe fifth volume of 
the Memoirs of the Academy of Petersburg. I shall extract the prin- 
cipal details. 

In 1799, a fisherman of Tongousa observed among the glaciers on 
the shores of the Frozen Ocean, near the mouth of the Zena, a shape- 
less mass, the nature of which he could not divine. The following 
year, he remarked that this mass had become more disengaged from 
the surrounding ice, but he was still at a loss to account for its ap- 

* Sarytschew's Travels in the North-East of Siberia, &c. 


Towards the close of the following summer, the entire side and one 
of the tusks of the animal became distinctly visible above the ice. It 
was not till the fifth year, that, the ice happening to thaw more rapidly 
than usual, this enormous mass rolled forward upon the beach. In the 
month of March, 1804, the fisherman carried away the tusks and sold 
them for five rubles. At this period a rough sketch of the animal was 
taken, for a copy of which I am indebted to the friendship of M. 
Blumenbach. It was not until two years after this, being the seventh 
year of the discovery, that Mr. Adams, an attache of the academy of 
Petersburg, and now a professor at Moscow, while travelling in the 
suite of the Count Golovkin, the Russian ambassador to the court of 
China, happened to hear of the discovery at lakoutsk and visited the 
spot. He found the animal much mutilated. The Iakoutes of the 
neighbourhood had peeled off its flesh to feed their dogs. Some of it 
had been devoured by wild beasts, but the skeleton still remained 
entire, with the exception of a fore foot. The spine, the shoulder 
blade, the pelvis, and the remains of the three extremities were still 
united by the ligaments and by a portion of the skin. The shoulder 
blade that was missing was found at a little distance from the spot. 
The head was covered with a dry skin. One of the ears, which was in 
a high state of preservation, was garnished with a tuft of hair, the 
pupil of the eye was still distinguishable. The brain was in the skull, 
but dried up ; the lower lip had been gnawed, and the removal of the 
upper lip left the jaws visible. The neck was garnished with long 
thick hair, the skin was covered with black hair, and with a reddish 
wool ; its remnant was so heavy, that twelve persons found it a difficult 
matter to transport it. 

Mr. Adams tells us, they recovered more than thirty pounds weight 
of wool and hair, which the white bears had sank in the humid soil, 
while devouring the flesh *. The animal was a male ; his tusks were 
more than nine feet long, measuring by the curves; and his head, with- 
out the tusks, weighed more than four hundred pounds. Mr. Adams 
exerted himself to the utmost in collecting all that remained of this 
unique specimen of a former world ; he afterwards purchased the tusks 
at lakoutsk. The emperor of Russia purchased it of him for the sum 
of eight thousand rubles, and had it placed in the academy of Peters- 
burg. We shall give a description of it in another place, on the 
authority of M. Tilesius. There are other instances of similar 

In 1805, this same M. Tilesius received and transmitted to M. 
Blumenbach a tuft of hair, pulled by a man named Patapof from the 
body of a mammoth, near the shores of the Frozen Ocean f. 

We have in the King's Museum some tufts of hair and morsels of 
skin belonging to this subject, presented to the establishment by the 
late Mr. Targe, censor of the Royal College of Charlemagne, who re- 
ceived them from his nephew, who settled in Moscow. 

* Tilesius, who has described the remains of this mammoth as they are at present 
preserved at Petersburg, remarks that there is no longer any hair adhering to the 

f Tilesius' Memoirs of the Academy of Petersburg, vol. v, p. 423. 


Facts like these, so perfect in their details, and so well authenticated, 
no longer leave us any room to doubt the veracity of prior testimony 
with regard to the remains of the soft parts of the mammoth being 
preserved by the frost ; at the same time that they prove that these 
animals must have been encompassed by the ice at the very moment 
of their death. 

To these general remarks I shall subjoin a hasty notice of the prin- 
cipal districts in Asiatic Russia, where the bones of elephants have 
been discovered. I have already noticed those found in the bason of 
the Wolga. To these I would add those found between the Wolga 
and the Swiaga and along the Kama, where they are mixed with 
marine shells *, those of the river Irguin |, and those presented by M. 
Macquart to the Board of Mines, which were mixed with the bones 
of the rhinoceros. It was doubtless in the Wolga, also, that the thigh 
was found which the astronomer Delille brought with him from 
Casan, and which is described by M. Daubenton |. M. Pallas gives 
a long catalogue of bones, tusks, and molar teeth of the elephant 
and rhinoceros, sent from that province to Petersburg, in 1776 and 
1779 §, which were also found on the banks of the Swiaga. 

Our journals have given an account of an entire skeleton dug out 
of the earth near Struchow, in the province of Casan ||. 

J. Chr. Richter had a molar from the neighbourhood of Astracan^]". 

The Jaik is continually disengaging them from its banks, which are 
formed of a yellowish slime, interspersed with shells, and the inhabit- 
ants preserve them with superstitious reverence **. 

M. Pallas saw some at Kalmikova on the Jaik, in which he tells 
us they find some from time to time ff. 

Delille also brought some fragments from this river to the Museum J J. 

The bason of the Obi abounds with them. The Samoides carry on 
a regular traffic in tusks at Beresova. They gather them in the im- 
mense naked plains, which stretch along to the Frozen Ocean, and 
abound with shells §§. There is also an enormous heap of them at 
Kutschewarkoi on the Obi ||||. 

Pallas is in possession of a molar and a great number of bones found 
over against Obdorsk, near the mouth of that river ^J. 

Strahlenberg mentions an enormous skeleton found near the lake 
Tzana, between the Irtisch and the Obi ***. 

The Irtisch is one of the principal branches of the Obi, and per- 
haps it is this river as well as its tributaries, the Tobol, the Toura, the 

* Pallas' Nov. Com. Petrop., vol. xvii, p. 581. 

f Pallas' Travels in Russia, French Trans. Svo., p. 283. 

% Natural History, vol. xi, and No. 1034, and Mem. Acad, of Sc. for 1762. 

§ Nene Nordische Beytreege, vol. i, page 175, &c. 

|| Magasin Encyclopedique, May> 1806, p. 169. 

^| Mus. Richter, p. 258. 

** Pallas' Nov. Com. Petrop., vol. xvii, p. 584. 

XT Travels, vol. ii, p. 271. 

XX Nat. Hist. vol. xi, No. mxxxvii. 

§§ Nov. Com. xvii, p. 584. 

HII Ibid, p. 578. 

Tf Travels, vol. v, p. 116. 

*** Strahlenberg, Eng. Trans., p. 404. 


Iset *, which have yielded these fossils in the largest quantities f . 
The two last- mentioned rivers, descending the eastern slope of the 
Ouralian mountains, frequently exhibit these bones mixed with 
marine productions J. 

M. Pallas has observed them near the Iset, mixed with glossopetrae 
and pyrites §, and under different beds of clay, sand, ochre, &c, and 
at Verkhotouria, near the source of the Toura ||, where Steller had 
previously found some also mingled with petrified sharks' teeth and 
belemnites %. Some have also been disengaged along the Irtisch in a 
pure sand, mixed with shells **. 

Strahlenberg speaks of an entire head of four feet and a half long, 
found at Toumen on the Toura ft. The Tom, another tributary of the 
Obi, has yielded them in large quantities ++> a s has also the Keta§§. 

An entire skeleton has been seen by Messerschmidt, on the banks 
of the former river, between Tomsk and Kafnetsko ||||. 

In fine, they are found even on theAlei, and at the foot of the 
mountains so rich in mines, from which many of the branches of the 
Obi take their rise. M. Pallas assures us that he has a tooth found 
in a mine of the famous mountain of Serpents, which was accompanied 
by pentacrinos, one of the ancient productions of the sea ^f^f. 

The bason of the Jenisei has yielded them at all periods ***, at 
Krasnojarsk, from which M. Pallas had a molar fft. aD -d as far as the 
seventieth degree of northern latitude below Selakino, that is, bor- 
dering on the Frozen Ocean. This naturalist also specifies the Angara, 
otherwise called the Great Tongouska, among the rivers that have dis- 
engaged them J J J. 

Messerschmidt and Pallas also mention the Chatanga, a river which 
falls into the Frozen Ocean, between the Jenisei and the Lena §§§. 

Isbrand Ides and John Bernard Muller || || || specify the Irkoutsk 
on the Lena ; and the academy of Petersburg preserves a skull found 
with an almost perfect skeleton near the mouth of that river *$%% 

The Vilioui, which falls into the Lena, on the banks of which the 
entire rhinoceros was found, is most assuredly not unsup plied with the 
bones of elephants. 

* Messerschmidt in Breynius, Phil. Trans., vol. xl, p. 148. 
-J- Travels, vol. iv, p, 97 and 124. 
X Nov. Com. vol. xvii, p. 581. 
§ Ibid., and Travels, vol. iii, p. 353. 
|| Travels, p. 324. 
\ Nov. Com., vol. xiii, p. 476. 
** Idem, ibid, 
-f-f Strahlenberg, p. 404. 

XX Pallas and Messerschmidt, in the passage cited. 
§§ Isbrand Ides in Sloane, passage cited, p. 437- 
llll Strahlenberg, p. 404. 
^f«[f Nov. Com. 

***• Isbrand Ides, Pallas' Nov. Com., vol. xiii, p. 471. Laur., Lange, and Muller 
on Sloane. 

•fft Travels, p. 170, and Nov. Com., vol. xvii, p. 584. 

XXX Nov. Com., vol. xiii, p. 471. 

§§§ Idem, ibid. 

|| || || In Sloane, passage already quoted. 

TO Pallas' Nov. Com., vol. xiii, p. 472. 


We have already noticed the skull found on the banks of the Indig- 
hirska. It was extracted from the sandy side of a hill, not far from the 
stream called Volockowoi Ruczei *, opposite Stanoi Jarks f . When we 
have added to those places the banks of the Kolyma and Anadir men- 
tioned by Pallas \, we shall find that there is not a district in Siberia 
which does not yield the bones of elephants. But what, doubtless, 
will appear still more extraordinary, is the fact, that, of all places on 
the globe, those which furnish the largest supply of the fossil bones of 
elephants are certain islands of the Frozen Ocean, to the north of 
Siberia, opposite the shore which separates the mouth of the Lena 
from that of the Indighirska. That which lies nearest to the continent 
is thirty-six leagues long. 

" The whole island (says the editor of Billing's Travels), with the ex- 
ception of three or four little rocky mountains, is composed of a mixture 
of sand and ice, so that, when the thawing of the ice causes a part of 
the shore to give way, the bones of the mammont are found in 
abundance. The whole island, (continues he), according to the state- 
ment of the engineer, is composed of the bones of this extraordinary 
animal, of the horns and skulls of buffaloes, or of animals that resemble 
them, and of some horns of the rhinoceros." This description is no doubt 
very much exaggerated, but yet it serves to prove the very great 
abundance of these bones. 

A second island, twelve leagues in length, and lying five leagues 
farther from the shore than the former, also yields those bones and 
teeth ; but a third, twenty-five leagues to the north, has not yielded 

an y§- 

The south of Asia has not furnished these fossils in any thing like 
the quantities yielded by the north. 

The most southern parts of Asia where the fossil bones of elephants 
have been as yet discovered, are the shores of the sea of Aral and 
the banks of the Jaxartes, now r called the Sihon. 

Daubenton mentions the petrified fragments of a molar tooth found 
on the shores of the former|| ; and Pallas tells us, that the Bokarians 
sometimes bring ivory from the neighbourhood of the latter river ^f . 

It is probable too, that they may be discovered in Asia Minor 
and Syria, for the ancient writers speak of their having seen the 
skeletons of supposed giants in those countries. 

There is every reastm to suppose that the skeleton supposed to 
be that of Geryon or Hyllus found in upper Lydia, and described 
by Pausanias **, was in reality the skeleton of an elephant, particu- 
larly as this author further states, that, while engaged in the labours 
of husbandry, the inhabitants frequently discovered large horns, which 
may doubtless be interpreted to mean tusks. 

We might also feel inclined to refer to the same origin the 
body fifteen feet in length, which the same author tells us was 
found in the bed of the Orontes, near Antioch ft. 

* Messerschmidt. T Pallas' Nov. Com., vol. xiii, p. 471. 

X Pallas' Nov. Com., vol. xiii, p. 471 . § Billing's Travels, vol. i, p. 181. 

H Nat. Hist., vol. xi, No. mxxx. % Nov. Com., vol. xvii, p. 579. 

«* Attic, chap. xxxv. tt Arcad., chap, xxix. 


It is not a little singular that these bones are never discovered 
in those countries which are inhabited by the elephants of our day, 
while they are so common in latitudes where those animals could 
not exist for a moment. 

Can it be that none have been buried there, or that the heat has 
decomposed them, or, when they have been discovered, has the cir- 
cumstance been allowed to pass unnoticed, because as far as they were 
referred to the animals of the country, there was nothing extraordinary 
in the fact of their discovery ? 

May it not also be, that the mammoth being destined to be an in- 
habitant of the north, as its thick wool and long hair evidently demon- 
strate, it was not to be found within a certain distance of the tropics ? 
The geologists who shall visit the torrid zone have here a line subject 
for speculation. 

Nevertheless, we find that these fossils have been seen in Barbary, 
where there are no elephants of any kind, although the climate seems 
perfectly suited to their temperament, and although there were 
numbers of them anciently, at least in Mauritania, according to the 
testimony of all the writers of antiquity *. 

Leaving out of the question the giant's tooth seen by St. Au- 
gustin, and by many others on the sea shore near Utica, which, 
according to the statement of that father of the church, might have 
made a hundred of our ordinary teeth ; and the two skeletons, the 
one thirty-two feet six inches ; the other, thirty-four feet in length, 
which Phlegonusof Tralles tells us, on the authority of Eumachus,were 
discovered by the Carthaginians f ; and the supposed body of Antssus, 
discovered near Lynx or Tingis in Mauritania, which was eighty feet 
in length, and to which Sertorius caused a sacrifice to be offered X ; the 
skeleton of a giant exhumed by some Spanish slaves near Tunis, in 
1559 §, would appear to have been that of an elephant, as a second, ex- 
humed in the same spot in 1630, was ascertained to be that of an ele- 
phant by the celebrated Peyresc, who compared the bones with those 
of a live animal which he happened to see in 1631. 

It was only wanting to complete the measure of singularity that the 
fossil elephant should be found in America. To this continent no live 
elephants have ever been transported since it has become known to 
Europeans, and where it is impossible to imagine, that, had they pre- 
viously existed, they could have been destroyed by the insignificant 
and scanty population that inhabited it previous to its discovery. 

Buff on was the first to assert the existence of these bones in North 
America, and according to his account in North America alone. Nay, 
he went so far as to account for their destruction in that continent by 
the impossibility which they must have experienced in attempting to 
pass the isthmus of Panama, when the gradual increase of the cold 
urged them to the south, as if all the lower parts of Mexico were not 

* Strabo, book xvii. Pliny, book viii, chap. xi. Elian, book x, chap, i, and book 
xiv, c. v. 

t PhlegonusDe Mirab., cap. xviii. 

X Plutarch, Sertorius, chap, iii, and Strabo, chap, xvii, p. 829. 

§ Leroni Magius Miscellany, book i, chap, ii, p. 19. 


still warm enough for them, and as if the shores of the isthmus of 
Panama were not wide enough to allow them a passage. 

Even the facts upon which Buffon grounded his hypothesis, were 
not altogether correct. The bones discovered in his time were not 
those of the elephant. They belonged to another animal, which I 
shall point out under the name of the Mastodon, and which was also 
known by the name of the animal of the Ohio. 

But at the present day we have bones which are most positively 
those of the elephant ; numerous authors attest the fact. 

We may observe a real elephant's jaw very well engraved, in a plate 
in Drayton's work on South Carolina *. It was found, with several 
others, in 1794, by Colonel Senf, in a marsh at Biggin, near the source 
of the western branch of the river called the Brazen River, eight or 
nine feet below the surface. 

In 1797, Mr. George Turner read to the American Society of Phi- 
ladelphia a paper, the object of which was to shew, that besides the 
denticulated teeth of the well-known animal of Ohio, there were 
found in the ancient depots the teeth of another animals, which were 
transversely straighter, that is to say, the teeth of a real elephant. 

Catesby had already noticed the real fossil teeth of elephants found 
in that country. " At a place in South Carolina, called Stono," says 
he, " were discovered three or four teeth of a large animal, which all 
the negroes who were natives of Africa recognized at once to be the 
molar teeth of an elephant ; and I have reason to think they were so, 
having seen some of the same kind imported from Africa t- 

Mr. Barton, who has directed my attention to this passage, very 
justly remarks, that we are not to infer from it that the teeth were 
precisely similar to those of Africa, but merely similar to the teeth of 
elephants in general, (I mean teeth composed of plates) ; in fact, we 
cannot suppose that Catesby and his negroes were at all qualified to 
distinguish the different species, at a time when it had not occurred to 
any naturalist to make the distinction. 

Mr. Barton himself saw the molar of a real elephant drawn from a 
branch of the river Susquehannah. There was also a portion of a tusk, 
six feet in length and thirty- one inches in circumference, which would 
not have measured less than ten feet in length, if it had been entire. 
It is not a little singular that the Delaware Indians call that branch 
Chemung, or the river of the Horn J. From a consideration of these 
facts, Mr. Barton writes in the following terms to M. Lacepede. 
" They have found in different parts of North America, skeletons and 
bones of a large animal, bearing a greater or less affinity to the elephant. 
I have seen some molars of a species, which, if not precisely the same 
as that of the Asiatic elephant, bears a much stronger resemblance to 

* View of South Carolina as respects her natural and civil concerns. Mr. Mitchell 
also cites this work in his notes on the English Translation of my Preliminary Dis- 
course, New York Edition, 1818, p. 402. 

T Catesby's Carolina, vol. ii, p. 7. 

J Extract of a Letter from Mr. Smith Barton to Cuvier. 

VOL. I. C 6 


it by the shape of its molars, than do those of the mammoth"*, (mean- 
ing the mastodon). 

These fossils are most frequently found in Kentucky and along the 
banks of the Ohio, in those places, denominated licks, because the 
wild beasts are in the habit of resorting thither, to drink the brackish 
waters with which they abound. Of these, the most celebrated for the 
immense heap of bones which were found there, to which we shall 
recur in the chapter treating of mastodons, is known to geographers 
under the appellation of bik-bone-lick. It was thoroughly explored 
in 1807, by Governor Clarke, on his return from his famous expedition 
to the Pacific Ocean, and at the instance of Mr. Jefferson, who was 
then President of the United States. 

The bones, found in great quantities by Clarke, were carefully trans- 
ported to Washington, where they arrived in March, 1808. Mr. 
Jefferson divided them into three portions. He gave one to the 
Museum of the Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, another to the 
French Institute, which has long ranked that great man among its 
honorary fellows, and the third he reserved for himself. The bones 
thus presented by him to the Institute, are now deposited in the 
Museum of Natural History. Among them are three fine strongly 
characterised jaws of elephants, of which I shall give an engraving 
and a description f. 

Mr. Mitchell, from whom I borrow the details of this discovery, 
gives the drawing of the real jaw of an elephant found at Middleton, in 
the county of Monmouth, which is also in the province of Kentucky; 
and that of another from the eastern shore of the bay of the Chesapeak, 
in the state of Maryland J. 

I am not quite certain whether or not this is the jaw of which the 
same author speaks as having been found in Queen Ann's county, on 
the eastern side of Maryland. 

According to the account of M. Rembrandt Peale, those Kentucky 
jaws, similar in every respect to those of Siberia, were few in number, 
in an advanced stage of deconrposition, and unaccompanied by other 
bones, with the exception of a few tusks ; whence that excellent artist 
concludes, that the destruction of the elephant in Ameiica must have 
been prior to that of the mastodon ; or else, that the spoils of the former 
must have been carried from some other quarter by some revolution §. 

From the testimony of a letter, written by John Stranger, and in- 
serted in the American Monthly Magazine, printed at New York, 
in May, 1818, there were found in the county of Wythe, near 
the river Ihanhawa, in Virginia, six feet below the surface, in a marshy 
spot, where saline efflorescences had discovered themselves, large 
bones and some teeth with transverse sides — consequently those of 

* Letter of Mr. Barton to M. Lacepfede, printed in the Philoshphical Magazine 
of Tilloch, July, 1805, p. 98. 

-f This account is extracted from the Appendix with which Mr. Samuel Mitchell, 
professor at New York, has enriched the English translation of my Preliminary Dis- 
course, printed in America in 1S18, p. 361. 

% Mitchell, ibid. 

§ Historical Disquisition oa the Mammoth, p. 68. 


the elephant ; and at the same time some other teeth, which appear to 
belong to a small sized mastodan, 

So closely does the elephant accompany the mastodon, that their 
remains are found in the same places, even as far as the Gulph of 
Mexico. M. Mattel, formerly French consul at Louisiana, has 
transmitted to me an enormous jaw of a real elephant, which he pur- 
chased at New Orleans, and which had been exhumed with some large 
jaws of the mastodon, on the banks of the Missisippi, at a little 
distance from its mouth. It was worn on the sides, which gave it the 
appearance of having been carried down by the floods. 

By a letter from William Darby, aulhor of a New Map of Loui- 
siana, to Dr. Mitchell, we find that in 1804, he saw extracted 
from the earth, in the Apelusian country, in the thirty-first degree 
of northern latitude, a lower jaw, in which was a tooth formed of 
transverse plates, some fragments of which are preserved in the Museum 
of Dr. Wis tar at Philadelphia* . 

In fine, I can point out specimens of fossils which have come 
from the Spanish possessions in America. I am indebted for them to 
the friendship with which the illustrious and generous M. de Hum- 
boldt continues to honour me. During his long travels, that learned 
man has never neglected an opportunity of procuring the fossil bones 
of quadrupeds, with a view to aid my inquiries. 

Among several other pieces which he presented to me on his return, 
and which I shall mention hereafter, are the separated plates of some 
very large molares, similar in every respect to those of the elephant of 
Siberia, in the narrowness and the slightness of the wreathings of the 
plates of enamel, as well as in the slight dilatation of their centre. 
They were found at Hue-Huetoca near Mexico. 

In addition to this, he has given me a tusk of calcined ivory, but still 
perfectly distinguishable, found at Villa de Ybarra, a province of 
Quito in Perou, one hundred and seventeen toises above the level of 
the plain. This specimen being less compressed than is usual with 
the tusks of the mastodon, might seem to countenance the idea that the 
true elephant, whose molar teeth are formed of plates, had also left his 
remains to the south of the Isthmus of Panama ; but 1 readily admit, 
that in order to have nothing to be desired in the proof of a fact so 
hard to be ascertained, and of which this would be the first proof, it 
were to be wished that this fragment of a tusk had been accompanied 
by some part of a molar. 

I have carefully deposited in the King's Museum, these two hand- 
some presents of M. Humboldt, 

To avoid seeming to neglect any notice on the subject, I shall here 
direct attention to the bones of giants, which are mentioned in almost 
every page of the Spanish accounts of Mexico and Peru. Extracts 
from them, accompanied by many new and circumstantial narratives, 
may be seen in the Spanish Gigantology, forming part of the Apparato 
para la Historia Natural Espanola, of the Franciscan Torrubia \. 

§ Mitchell's Notes on my Preliminary Discourse, 
+ Introduction to Spanish Natural History, vol. i, pp. 54 and 79. 

c c 2 


Hernandez * and Joseph Acostaf are the principal naturalists, pro- 
perly so called, that speak of them. 

We are prevented from applying all these accounts to the elephant, 
by the circumstance, that they may be referred with equal plausibility 
to the bones of the mastodon, which are much more common in Ame- 
rica than those of the elephant, and the teeth of which, bearing a 
stronger resemblance to those of man, may have served more easily to 
create the illusion. 

Unfortunately, not one of those who have transmitted these accounts, 
has taken the trouble to give drawings of them, or to annex a few 
words indicative of their various species. Indeed, this fact alone is 
sufficient to annihilate the whole tribe of their supposed giants. 

This enumeration of the places where the fossil bones of the elephant 
have been found, is the result of an investigation, which the time de- 
manded by my anatomic labours, properly so called, has not permitted 
me to render as perfect as I could have wished. I have no doubt it 
would have swelled to still greater length if 1 had had time to examine 
with more care the works of naturalists, travellers, and topographers, 
with the journals and the collections at the Academy. But it is already 
in length sufficient to give an idea of the prodigious quantity of these 
bones yielded by the earth, and of the vast quantities which might 
have been obtained if the excavations had been multiplied, or if those 
which were undertaken had been conducted by men of science. 

Additions to this Article I. 

The abundance of curious objects which are continually pouring in 
upon me is to me a sufficient proof that, spite of the efforts of geolo- 
gists, this department of science has been barely glanced at, and that 
we may every moment expect to see the earth produce new species 
still more extraordinary than any that have been as yet extracted from 
her bosom. 

As I have already remarked, it is quite impossible for me to specify 
all the discoveries of the bones of elephants which are being made every 
day and in every country ; but I cannot forbear mentioning three heads 
of this species, which are in the Museum of the Grand Duke of Tus- 
cany, and which have recently been exhumed in that country. Two of 
these heads were exhumed in November, 1822. 

France. — Towards the close of the autumn of 1824, they discovered 
near Lyons, on the road which separates the Rhone and the Saone, in 
the commune of Calvire, seven feet and a half below the surface, many 
bones of the elephant, a shoulder two feet and a half long, a tibia of 
the same length, the head of a thigh, the two branches of the lower 
jaw, each containing two teeth. A letter from M. Bredia, con- 
taining an account of this discovery, has been inserted in many of the 

* History of New Spain. 

■f Natural History of India, book iv, c. xxx. 

X We annex the additions placed successively at the end of the volumes of the 
quarto edition, the details of which did not reach Cuvier until after the publication of 
his chapter on elephants. We shall observe the same arrangement with respect to 
the other additions. — Editor. 


journals, particularly in the Moniteur of the 13th of September of the 
same yenr. 

The Duke of Decazes has presented to the King's Museum, the 
jaw of an elephant exhumed at Bonsac, upon the left bank of the 
Dordogne, a hundred and twenty feet beneath the level of the river, 
and fifteen beneath the surface of the soil, in a gravel pit, covered with 
six feet of compact earth, mixed with the fragments of silex. 

M. Dubuisson, keeper of the Museum of Natural History at Nantes, 
has sent me drawings as large as life of a large portion of the bassin of 
an elephant, and part of three bones drawn out of the river Seille in 
Burgundjr. This specimen is very much decomposed, and almost friable ; 
a coat of hydrated limonous iron has overspread it, and penetrated 
into its texture. 

The Marchioness of Eckmhul has presented to the King's Museum, 
a portion of a tusk found in May, 1814, at Viry Chatillon, in the 
department of the Seine and Oise, and near the road to Fontainbleau. 
It was lying in a bed of gravel five or six feet in depth, a hundred 
and fifty toises from the bed of the river. 

Holland. — On the 24th of March, 1820, Francis van der Willigen, 
a labourer residing in the village of Heukelom, in the country of 
Gorcum in Holland, while inspecting the rupture of a dyke situated 
between the Whaal and the Leek, discovered the head of a fossil ele- 
phant almost entire. M. de Boemans, of Dort, has had the kindness to 
present me with an etching of this specimen, which derives additional 
value from the circumstance of its presenting us with a perfect repre- 
sentation of long alveoli of the tusks, which form the characteristics of 
this species. The length, from the edge of these alveoli to the occi- 
pital condyles, is forty-one inches of the measurement of the Rhine, 
and the alveoli themselves are twenty-three inches long and seven 
broad. In other respects, these heads are similar to those described 
farther on. 

Germany. — On the occasion of digging the foundations of the new 
streets at Stuttgart, in 1819 and 1820, many bones and teeth of 
elephants were discovered. Amongst others was the fragment of a 
tusk which was found beneath two feet of vegetable earth and nine feet 
of red clay. Beneath this clay was a bed composed of fragments of 
brown freestone five feet thick, reposing upon tufo. 

The fragment of a shoulder blade was discovered five feet below the 
surface, in a blackish clay ; and in a circumference of fifty feet from the 
same spot, they found the fragment of a tusk, part of a lower jaw, and a 
peroneum, all belonging to a young animal, and accompanied by bones 
of oxen and of stags. 

A large molar tooth was discovered farther on, six feet below the 
surface, and not far from this, the molar of a rhinoceros. 

Several other specimens were likewise found at Canstadt ; and at 
Unterturkheim, a village lying at some distance from Canstadt, they 
found the bones of an elephant and the tooth of an hyena. 

For an account of these discoveries we may consult an essay from 
the pen of M. Jaeger the younger, inserted in the Wirtemburg An- 
nual of 1820, p. 147, &c. 

Every day is adding to the discoveries of the bones of elephants in 


Wirtemburg. In the Wirtemburg Annuaire for 1823, M. Jaeger also 
enumerates those which had been made during the two preceding 
years. As they were excavating a cellar at Stuttgart, they found an 
elephant's tusk, with the shoulder bone and part of the fibula of a rhi- 
noceros, and the shoulder blade and portions of the skull of very large- 
sized oxen. 

The Suabian Mercury of the 22nd of April, 1823, gives the details 
of several large bones exhumed at Kahlenstein, a hill on the borders 
of the valley of the Necker, where the king was building a villa. 
They consisted of a tusk thirteen feet seven inches long, rather muti- 
lated at the root, a very large portion of the pelvis, a molar, and a 
shoulder bone, a foot in diameter at the base, &c. They were lying in 
sand, resembling that of a river, eighty-two feet below the level of the 
Necker, and seventeen or eighteen feet below the surface of the soil. 
They are the largest specimens preserved in the Royal Museum. 

Nor have the other parts of Germany been less productive. In 
the last number of the " Archives of the Primitive World," edited by 
MM. Ballenstedt and Kruger, mention is made of a tusk drawn 
from the Lippe near Ham, on the 16th of May, 1823 ; a molar of nine 
plates, and nine inches in length, found at Laufen, towards the close 
of 1823, while they were sinking a well ; another of eight inches, ex- 
humed near Philisbourg, during the summer of the same year, and 
a tusk eight feet in length, extracted from a sand pit near the Weser, 
in the neighbourhood of Minden, on the 12th of February, 1824. 

On the 16th of September, 1819, some elephants' jaws were ex- 
humed at Mersebourg on the Saale, a little below Halle in Saxony *. 

Previous to this, they had discovered some near the confluence of the 
Helm in the Unstrut, where the swollen currents had disengaged them 
from the mounds. In 1821, some were found at Wester Egeln, a 
village near the little town of Egeln, in the duchy of Brunswick, and 
at Watenstedt in the same duchy, which were purchased and conveyed 
to Berlin. The former were enclosed in a layer of clay, and the latter 
lay contiguous to a quarry of gypsum f. 

On the 21st of January, 1818, a fisherman drew from the Rhine 
the last of the phalanges and the shoulder blade of an elephant. Wir- 
temburg still continues to furnish these fossil remains of elephants. 
M. Jaeger informs me that some have been discovered near the source 
of the mineral waters of Constadt, in a quarry of calcareous white 
gravel, which has yielded them in great abundance. They are there 
accompanied by the bones of the rhinoceros, the hyena, and an immense 
quantity of those of horses, as well as the bones of oxen, similar to those 
found in the peat pits of Sindelfingen, at a distance of three leagues 
from the spot. There are also some very large bones of the stag 

Prussia and Poland. — In 1812, the fragment of a molar tooth was 
exhumed on the Polish bank of the Dreventz, which forms the boun- 
dary of Prussia f. 

* Ballenstedt's Archives of the Primitive World, vol. i, p. 65 and 3768. 
•f Ibib, vol. ii, p. 403. 
J Ibid, vol. iii, p. 217. 


M. Charles Ernest de Bsehr, director of the Museum of Zoology, 
and professor at the University of Koenigsberg, in a dissertation en- 
titled " De Fossilibus Mammalium Reliquiis in Prussia adjacenti- 
busque Regionibus Repertis," printed at Koenigsberg in 1823, has fur- 
nished a rich catalogue of those discoveries. 

He instances, 1st. The tooth of an elephant found in 1780, eight 
miles from Koenigsberg, in a sandy hill on the banks of the Pregel, 
which has been previously noticed by Bock * and Hagen \. 

2dly. A molar, drawn from the bed of the Dreventz, one of the tri- . 
butaries of the Vistule, in 1811, has been described and analyzed by 
Hagen. It is at present in the Museum of Koenigsberg. 

3dly. Two teeth, formerly in the possession of the late Professor 
Baczko, one of which had been exhumed from a sandy hill near 
the gate of Koenigsberg, called the Brandlebourg Gate, and the other 
at Graudentz on the Vistule. 

4thly. A number of bones and tusks found beneath nine feet of 
peat, and amongst several trunks of trees, the bark of which was 
still in a high state of preservation, near the canal of Bromberg. 

Sthly. A molar very much worn, exhumed near Dantzick, oppo- 
site the gate of Oliva. 

Russia. — Whole volumes might be filled with the bare statement of 
the places where the bones and teeth of elephants have been, and 
are daily being discovered in this country. The newspapers, for 
instance, contain the following paragraph : — 

" Petersburg, Dec. 13, 1821. 

" Intelligence has been received from Woronesch, that a most sin- 
gular discovery has just been made in a village of that district, called 
Krinta. The thawing of the snow having formed a deep ravine, a large 
collection of the bones of elephants was discovered in it ; some are 
twelve or thirteen pounds in weight, although (hey are somewhat in- 
jured by time. 

" On digging a little deeper, two entire skeletons of these enormous 
animals were discovered ; the tusks, though not entire, are several feet 
in length. It is supposed that these elephants may have been brought 
into that country by Mamay, at the period of the invasion of the 
Tartars +." 

But what is still more singular than this discovery is the fact, that 
in December, 1821, they were either totally ignorant or forgetful at 
Petersburg, that the empire of Russia is full of these bones ; that the 
environs of Woronesch are peculiarly celebrated for yielding them in 
great abundance; that vast quantities had been discovered there in the 
time of Peter the Great; and that no expedition, either of the Mongols 
or any other people, can explain that phenomenon. 

England. —At Atwick, near Hornsea in Yorkshire, they discovered 
a portion of a tusk of very fine ivory, thirty-eight inches in length, and 
twenty in circumference, of English measurement §. 

• * Natural History of Prussia (in German), vol. ii, p. 402. 

T Materials for the Knowledge of Prussia (German), vol. i, p. 56. 

+ Journal de l'Etoile, 4th of January, 1S22. 

§ Philosophical Magazine of Tilloch, August, 1822, p. 154. 


Mr. Howsbip, a clever surgeon of London, from whom I have re- 
ceived several most important communications relative to the subject 
of this work, has sent me the drawing of the lower jaw of an elephant, 
found at Newnham, near Rugby in Warwickshire. In the same spot, 
they discovered the skull of a rhinoceros, which I shall speak of in its 
proper place. 

This jaw has the same obtuse form, and the same large molares with 
delicate plates, as all the other jaws of the fossil elephant, which I 
have described farther on. 

The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal of April, 1821, page 426, gives 
an account of the discovery of the tusk of an elephant, on the occasion of 
openingthe Union Canal near Linlithgow, about 1 8 miles from Edinburgh, 
and states that Mr. Bald, who found it, had read a paper upon it to the 
Wernerian Society. But a short time since, some bones of elephants 
were found in a cavern near Kirkdale in Yorkshire, in the valley of the 
Grove, a little river which falls into the Rye. They were lying con- 
fusedly intermixed with the bones of hyenas, tygers, the rhinoceros, 
and hippopotami, as well as with those of a large species of stag, and of 
some other ruminant animals. There were also some bones belonging 
to the fox and the otter. 

These spoils were all enveloped in a sort of marl partly covered 
by stalactites ; and the cavern, hollowed in a rock of calcareous 
petrified shells, had a very narrow aperture ; so that this depot re- 
sembled in every particular those discovered in such numbers in 
Germany, and which we shall notice in detail in the fourth part of this 

Professor Bucklaud read a paper to the Royal Society on this inte- 
resting subject, a copy of which he has had the kindness to transmit 
to me. I have extracted this notice from it, while waiting for an op- 
portunity of turning it to more important account. Mr. Clift has added 
to it some very finely executed drawings of the principal pieces ; and 
but a very short time since, Mr. Salmouth forwarded to me a hand- 
some collection of select specimens of the different species, so that I 
am in possession of all the materials requisite for giving a correct 
account of this remarkable depot *. 

In a former part of this volume I mentioned, on the authority of the 
geological map of England, the discovery of some elephants' bones on 
the coast of Kent, in a spot covered by the high tides. According to 
the Kentish Gazette, some fresh discoveries have recently been made 

* This cavern, containing the bones of great pachydermes, intermixed with those of 
small carnivorous animals, bears a strong analogy to that of Fovent, in the depart- 
ment of the Haute Saone, which I mentioned in a former part of this volume. The 
cave of Oreston, near Plymouth, presented a mixture of the same description. Besides 
the bones of the rhinoceros discovered there in 1817, they have recently discovered, 
in an adjoining cavern, the bones of bears and stags, which Mr. Whitby has sent to 
the College of Surgeons in London. Sir Everard Home has given a catalogue of them 
in the Philosophical Transactions of 1821. 

These admixtures, and those observed at Breugue and Pcelitz (see the chapter on 
the fossil rhinoceros), form a phenomenon unique in its kind, deserving of the atten- 
tion of geologists. We shall return to it in our fourth part. 


in the same place, and on one of these occasions the skull of a species 
of ox was found. 

North America. — The Russian Captain Kotzebue discovered, as 
everybody knows, on the coast of America, to the north of Behring's 
Straits, and beyond the polar circle, a spacious entry, which might well 
be supposed to lead towards the east ■ — either to the sea, observed by 
Mackenzie in 1789, or to the passage to which Captain Parry pene- 
trated in 1819. 

Even these frightful regions yield the fossil bones of elephants. 
They are found in a tongue of sand, and very close to the ice. 

M. Adalbert de Chamisso, the learned naturalist who accompanied 
M. Kotzebue, has brought from thence a tusk four feet long and five 
inches in diameter, which he has deposited in the Museum of Berlin. 
He has been so kind as to send me a coloured drawing of it. It is 
slightly arched and very pointed. The layers of ivory are very 
contrary to their grain, and in parts entirely effaced. Their surface is 
creviced and uneven, and the general colour of this fossil is very 

This tusk bears a strong resemblance to one found in the canal of 
the Ourcq ; so that we have every reason to believe that it belonged to 
the ordinary mammoth of the Russians. 

M . de Chamisso states that some molars and a smaller fragment of 
a tusk were found in the same place, that fossil ivory was common 
there, and that the sailors burned several pieces in their fires. The 
natives of the country make use of it for divers purposes, as well as the 
teeth of the rosemarus and the cetacean*. 

In the Journal of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, for June, 1823, 
Mr. Richard Harlan speaks of fourteen specimens of this species found 
in Kentucky, Carolina, and on the Ohio. He gives drawings of some 
teeth, in which we may observe the same accidents from detrition as 
in those of Europe f. 

Article II. 

A Comparison of the Fossil Remains of Elephants, with the corre- 
sponding parts of Living Animals. 

1 . Comparison of the Jaws. 

From their ignorance of the details of the formation and the manner 
of increasing of teeth in general, the describers of fossils have fallen 
into innumerable blunders ; but as the circumstances connected with 
the molars of the elephant are still more complicated and more dif- 

* See the German Narrative of the Voyage of M. Otton de Kotzebue, Weimar, 
1821, vol. iii, p. 171. 

f Mr. Pentland announces, in the Edinburgh Philosophical Journal of 1832, that a 
discovery was made in a cave in New Holland, in 1831, of the bones of elephants 
mixed with those of dasyuers and other didelphes. Those caverns are hollowed in 
calcareous rock, and bear a strong resemblance to those of Europe, by their geological 
position. (Laurillard). 


ficult than those relating to the teeth of other animals, they have given 
rise to a greater variety of mistakes. 

In the first place, many authors^have been in possession of entire and 
well formed molars of elephants, without being aware of the circum- 

This has been the case of Aldrovandus, Leibnitz, Kundmann, Beuth. 

The contra^, also, has notunfrequently occurred, and teeth of quite 
a different species have been passed off as the teeth of elephants. 

Aldrovandus, in his Treatise on Metals, gives as the teeth of 
elephants, three of those of the hippopotamus. 

M. de le Metheria in his Theory of the Earth, vol. v, p. 200, says, 
that the tooth found near Vienna in Dauphine, and engraved in the 
Journal de Physique, of February, 1773, p. 135, appears to have be- 
longed to the African elephant. I shall show that it must have be- 
longed to a species of large tapir. 

The same author assures us, at p. 201, " That it is now a well 
authenticated fact that the teeth of Ohio, and those brought from 
Peru, by Dombey, are those of an elephant of the same species as 
that of Africa." And yet the teeth of Vienne, of the Ohio, and of 
Peru, do not resemble each other, and neither one nor the other re- 
semble those of the African elephant. 

Other writers have fancied they could establish specific differences 
on the number of teeth existing at the same time in the jaw. Thus, 
Merk, in his second Letter on the Fossil Bones of the Rhinoceros, 
printed at Dermstadt in 1784, attempts to establish a difference 
between the living and the fossil elephants, from the circumstance of 
the jaws which came under his observation being furnished with but 
two teeth, while those of the elephant described by Daubenton were 
furnished with four. He fills eight pages with his arguments on this 
subject, and yet he concludes by offering the same explanation for this 
variation that Pallas had offered before him, namely, by referring it to 
the difference of their ages. M. Morozzo, in the Memoirs of the 
Italian Society, vol. x, p. 162, also tells us that the elephant has but one 
tooth on each side. 

Some writers, in their ignorance of the diminution which takes place 
in the size of these teeth before they fall, as well as of the great dif- 
ference between the teeth of the young and the old animals, have 
been led to fancy that the small molars which are found isolated be- 
longed to some elephant of a smaller species. 

Others, again, heedless of the circumstance that the upright plates, 
which form the greater part of the body of the tooth, proceed from 
a common base, and that in the teeth worn down to this base, the 
plates must be more or less irregularly united to each other, have 
classified teeth very much worn down, as belonging to a peculiar 
species. Of this sort are the teeth found in the depot at Thiede, of 
which M. de Strombeck has given engravings in his translation of 
Breislack, vol. ii, p. 428. The plates are there so large, and are so ir- 
regularly united in the centre, that they give to the crown of the tooth 
an appearance which Ave have some difficulty in referring to those of the 
common fossil teeth ; nevertheless, to obtain a similar appearance, it is 


only necessary to saw the tooth of an Asiatic elephant, close to the root. 
I am strongly of opinion, that it is on some circumstance analogous to 
this, that M.-Dcehne and M. Strombeck ground their assertion of 
the similarity existing between the teeth of the African elephant and 
some of those found at Thiede *. 

But the mistakes which have been occasioned by the partial plates 
of the germs of the molars of elephants found separate and unworn, 
have been by far the most gross and ridiculous. 

The ancient naturalists, who generally considered fossils as so many 
figured stones, found in these plates some resemblance to a foot or a 
hand, and gave them the name of chirites. Kircher gives drawings of 
some under this head, in his Subterranean World, vol. ii, p. 64. There 
are others of a similar description in his Museum, and in the Museum 
Metallicum Vaticanum of Mercati. 

Aldrovandus gives .drawings of some under the same name. (De Me- 
tallic, lib. iv, p. 481). 

But nothing of this description can approach in absurdity what we 
find in the Rariora Naturae et Artis of Kimdmann, pi. 3, fig. 2. That 
author describes the object represented by his figure as the petrified 
jaw of some great baboon ; he assures us that the skin, the flesh, 
the nails, and the veins may be plainly discerned completely pe- 
trified; that M. Fischer, professor at Kcenigsberg, who had seen 
most of the museums in Europe, pronounced this petrifaction to be 
one of the rarest in the world ; and finally, that the king of Poland, 
and the elector of Saxony, had offered him a considerable sum for 
it, with a view of placing it in the Museum of Dresden. In his 
Commentary on the Works of Knorr, Walch cites this fragment among 
the petrified bones of apes, &c; and yet a single glance is sufficient to 
show us that it is nothing more than the plate of the molar of an 
elephant, not yet worn at its extremity, and disjointed from the rest of 
the tooth. However, this error has been rectified already by Harrer, 
an apothecary of Ratisbon, in the Correspondence des Savans de 
Kohl . 

With regard to the entire molares being those parts of the ele- 
phent most frequently to be met with in the fossil state, the questions 
which at first presented themselves were the following : — 

1st. To which of the tico species of living elephants the fossil molares 
bear the greatest resemblance ? 

2nd. Do they bear a perfect resemblance to either of them ? 

3rd. Do all the fossil molares resemble each other ? 

About the first question there can be no doubt. The greater num- 
ber of fossil teeth — 'indeed one might say all, or nearly all — resemble 
at first sight those of India, and like them they are formed of stripes of 
equal breadth, and are wreathed. This may be ascertained by exa- 
mining plate 1 2 of this work, where I have given drawings of both upper 
and under fossil tooth of different ages, at half their natural size. 

Fig. 1 is the lower tooth of an aged elephant. It is very much worn, 

* Dohne in the Annals of Gilbert, No. 11, 1817 ; and in the Universal Bible of 
Geneva, February, 1818. See also Strombeck, loc. cit,, p. 428. 


and was found some years since in the forest of Bondy, with another 
similar to it. 

Fig. 2 Is the molar of a very young elephant ; a real sucking molar. 
It was found at Fovent. 

Fig. 3 Is the upper molar of a middle-aged elephant of Siberia. It 
is No. mxxii of Daubenton. 

Fig. 4 Is one of the second molares of a young elephant. It was 
found in the neighbourhood of Toulouse. 

Fig. 5 Is the lower molar of an elephant, worn down one half. 

The very small tooth of Tuscany, represented in Jig. 4, pi. 15, and 
the teeth of adults still adhering to the upper jaws,/*/. 10, figs. 3 and 
4, and to the lower jaws, pi. 1 1 , figs. 4 and 5, and pi. 14, Jig. 1 , con- 
firm this general resemblance. 

This is what has led Pallas, and almost all those who have come 
after him, to assert, that the fossil is identical with the Asiatic ele- 

But is this resemblance complete ? Formerly I did not question it* ; 
latterly I have hesitated a little about supporting an assertion which 
might appear hazardous, and about which the observations of my late 
learned friend Adrien Camper had inspired me with some doubts f. 
Let us examine the matter anew, fairly and impartially. 

In the first place, then, it is certain that the number of plates, con- 
sidered by itself alone, cannot give us good characteristics, as it is 
subject to vary, according to the age of the animal and the position 
of its tooth, from four to twenty-three or twenty-four. 

But suppose we take the number of plates of teeth of equal length, 
will not this furnish us with a sufficient criterion ? This is the ob- 
servation I have made on a great number of Indian and fossil teeth, 
and I have almost invariably found the plates of the latter more deli- 
cate, and consequently more numerous, in the same space. 

I have drawn up a table of them, which I have annexed to the end 
of this article. We shall there see — 

1st. That the plates vary in thickness in the different individuals of 
each species. 

2dly. That there is, as we have above remarked, a relation between 
this thickness and the number of plates ; that is to say, that the more 
plates there are in a tooth, the thicker is each plate, taken separately. 

3rdly. That, nevertheless, in comparing with each other, teeth of the 
same number of plates, we find that these plates almost invariably 
occupy a less space in the fossil teeth ; and this difference goes a great 
way in certain specimens, and so much farther where the number of 
plates is great. 

Thus, when M. Camper meets my reasonings by displaying a tooth 
of a live elephant with thin plates, and another with thick plates, it is 
because the first he has given, pi. 19, fig. 2, in his work, has but 
twelve plates, and is that of a very young elephant, and the other, repre- 
sented infig. 6, as well as that of pi. 13, figs. 4 and 5, has twenty -three,. 

* Memoirs of the Institute, Class of Mathematics and Physics, vol. ii, p. 15. 
t Anatomical Description of the Elephant, in fol.., p. 19- 


and belongs to an old one. The comparison should be made between 
teeth of an equal number of plates, and with them alone. 

From this first characteristic (i. e. the narrowness of the plates) we 
may deduce, that the number of these plates, which are at once brought 
into use for the purposes of trituration, may have been more considera- 
ble in the fossil than in the Indian elephant. 

Corse tells us in express terms, that the latter has only ten or twelve 
actively employed at the same time, whereas fossil teeth have fre- 
quently been found with their twenty-four plates worn ; such, for in- 
stance, is that found in the forest of Bondy, represented^/. 12, fig. 1. 

A second characteristic, which I look on as equally palpable, is, that 
the lines of enamel which intercept the divisions of the plates are more 
delicate and less wreathed in the fossil teeth than in the others. I 
have remarked this in most of the specimens in the Museum, and I 
shall presently mention those which form an exception. 

A third characteristic is derived from the length, as well absolute 
as proportional, of the teeth themselves, being much more considerable 
in the fussil than in the Indian elephant. This may be assertained by 
an inspection of the fifth column of my table ; we shall there see that 
almost all the fossils are 0,08 to 0,09 in breadth, and tha teeth of 
living animals from 0,06 to 0,07. 

If these differences stood alone, perhaps they might not be thought 
sufficient grounds for establishing a distinction of species ; but agree- 
ing as they do with the differences of the jaws and those of the skulls, 
as we shall very soon see, they assume a decisive importance. 

But then it remains to be considered — Are these characteristics 
equally constant ? Are all the fossil teeth large, of narrow plates, and 
but slightly wreathed ? 

In a former passage, I alluded to a specimen of the tooth with large 
plates. It was exhumed at Porentrury, in the department of the Upper 
Rhine. Without being very much decomposed, it is sufficiently so to 
be identified as a genuine fossil. Nine plates still remain entire, and 
its back has lost an indeterminable quantity. These nine plates are 
thick, very much undulated, and occupy a space of 0.180 in length. 
Their breadth is still more considerable than that of the other fossil 
teeth ; it amounts to 0,092. This tooth must have belonged to a very 
old elephant. 

My two fossil jaws from Romagnano {pi. 15, fig. 8), and from 
Monte Verde {pi. 15, fig. 3), also represent plates of more than ordi- 
nary thickness. 

The jaw of a young elephant, given by M. Nesti*, likewise appears 
to have had the plates of its molares somewhat thicker than those of 
the majority of those of fossil elephants. 

In other respects, this jaw, being perfectly similar in shape to those 
of the other fossil jaws, has nothing which might serve to point it out 
as belonging to a distinct species, as the worthy professor we have 
just mentioned was led to imagine. Its anterior jaw tooth presents 
six plates very much worn, and its posterior exhibits as many outside 

* Annals of the Museum of Florence, vol. i, pi. 2, fig. 1. 


the gum, and has some few additional plates concealed in the socket. 
The observations we have just made on the succession of the jaw-teeth 
of elephants is fully explanatory of these appearances, as being con- 
nected with the age of the animal. 

Hence we cannot consider the thinness of the plates as forming so 
general a characteristic of the fossil elephant as the size of its teeth, 
and the shape of its jaws and head. Nevertheless, the size alone of its 
jaws is sufficient to identify them, because it is much more constant 
and unvarying. 

In addition to this, there are some specimens wherein this difference 
of thickness is more apparant than real, and depends upon the age of 
the tooth. The last plates of each tooth are thicker than the first, and 
when the anterior part of a tooth has been decayed, and the posterior 
part very much worn down, it must then exhibit plates much thicker 
than it did at first. 

This has been the case with some of the teeth I have mentioned. 

As for the fossil molares of elephants which have come from North 
America, they frequently present a singular appearance; the alternat- 
ing lines of enamel, of cement, and of bony substance, may there be ob- 
served not only at the crown, but on the two lateral surfaces, even as 
far as the roots, which is solely owing to the teath being worn at the 
sides, and serves to show that they had been for a long time agitated 
by the waves, previous to their being deposited where they have been 
found. (See the figures we have given of two of these teeth, ])l. 15, 
Jigs. 9 and 11). 

It remains for us to examine if fossil teeth of elephants have not 
been found bearing a greater affinity to those of the African than the 
Indian species. 

I feel bound to state that I have not as yet met with a specimen of 
the kind. 

M. Humboldt, indeed, mentions in a letter inserted in the Annals of 
the Museum, p. 337, that he found near Santa Fe an immense quan- 
tity of bones of elephants, "as well of the species of Africa as of that 
of Ohio ;" but a more profound investigation has since demonstrated, 
as we shall see hereafter, that all these bones belonged to a peculiar 
species of mastodon. 

M. Autenrieth has also informed me that he saw at Philadelphia 
some teeth which appeared to him to have a closer affinity to those of 
the African than the Asiatic elephant; but M. Barton has since most 
positively informed me that these teeth had been brought from Africa. 

For my part, I have never seen more than two specimens which 
were calculated to create the least doubt in my mind. 

One of these was in the museum of Mr. Ebel, at Bremen, and the 
second is in our museum. They are both impaired, and of a greyish 
colour. I have not been able to ascertain whei'e that of Paris has been 
found. Mr. Ebel informed me that that belonging to him came from 
Eichstedt. If this latter origin be correct, it will be necessary; to ad- 
mit the existence of a second fossil species ; but as it frequently 
happens that they bring us teeth found near the surface of the 
soil in Africa, more or less impaired by the action of the elements, 
I would not venture to establish a fact of such importance upon a 


solitary specimen, when the possessor of it may have been deceived 
by those from whom he received it, as to the place where it had been 

On the Teeth resembling those of the African Elephant in their Lo- 
zenge-shaped Plates, which are accounted Fossils. 
Resides the teeth of this shape which I have just mentioned, I have 
received, 1st, from M. Schleyermacher, the drawing of a tooth of nine 
plates, perfectly similar to that of the African elephant which was pre- 
served with the label of fossil in the museum of the Baron de Hupsch, 
but without any reference to the place in which it was found — a cir- 
cumstance which raises a presumption against its identity. 2dly, M. 
Goldfuss has given a drawing of one with six or seven plates, in the 
New Memoirs of the Academy of Natural Curiosities, vol. x, part 2, 
plate 44. It had belonged to the collection of the late M. Mcehring, a 
monk of Cologne, but was likewise without a reference to the place of 
its discovery. 

In the eleventh volume of the same work, he gives a drawing of 
another {plate 57) of nine plates, only three of which had begun to be 
worn. It had formed one of the collection of Beuth, as he told me, 
and had been exhumed on the banks of the Roes, in the duchy of 
Berg ; but I do not observe that the shape of its plates is precisely as- 
certainable ; and it would be necessary to saw it, to enable us to come 
to a positive conclusion on the subject. 

M. Goldfuss further states, that he has seen these teeth in several 
cabinets ; but I am still inclined to suspect that there must be some 
error in the asserted place of their discovery, as one of these teeth, which 
wassent to me by the learned professor, has most certainly experienced 
no other modifications than those occasioned by its exposure to the air, 
while its anterior conformation has retained all the smoothness and 
consistency of fresh teeth. 

A circumstance not a little remarkable is, that M. de Bsehr, in his 
Essay on the Fossil Remains of Mammalia found in Prussia, makes the 
same observations on some African teeth supposed to have been exhumed 
near Dantzick. One of them still had some membranes adhering to the 
interior of its roots. 

As for the African teeth supposed to have been identified amongst 
those of Thiede, as we are still without exact drawings of them, it is im- 
possible to form any judgment on them. 

To these observations I shall add, that a merchant in whom I had 
been accustomed to repose entire confidence, and who is now dead, at- 
tempted on one occasion to deceive me by giving me an African tooth 
which he had encrusted with marl. Nay, I know it to be a fact that his 
roguery proved more successful with another person, and that this arti- 
ficial fossil is deposited in a certain museum, where probably in a few 
years hence it will be held up as a proof in favour of this second species 
of elephants ; but a mere inspection of its casing will be sufficient to 
discover the truth. 


A Comparative Table of the Fossil Molares 

Fossil Grinders. 


From Siberia; brown plates 
separated but not much de- 
decayed. Daub., No. 1023.. . 

From the banks of the Mis- 
sissippi, bought in New Or- 
leans, by M. Martel 

From the United States, pre- 
presented by Mr. Jefferson. . 
1 Idem 

Origin not known ; yel- 
lowish, slightly impaired. . . . 

From Siberia ; brown and 
blackish, several plates want- 
ing in the front, and at the 

From Siberia ; very much 
impaired in its cement, some 
plates wanting, Daub., No. 

Origin unknown ; white, 
decayed, one plate missing at 
the back 

Origin unknown ; very 
much impaired, white, quite 
worn down 

From Toulouse ; voxy much 
altered, white, quite worn .... 

From Fovent ; altered' yel- 
low, quite worn 





















of the 























0,035 I 0,037